Destiny’s Cradle

by Paul Crawford

The Destiny is on a thousand-year journey to colonize a distant planet, but something happened, long ago, that upset the carefully laid plans of the starship’s designers. That crisis, now long forgotten, left the crew and its descendants trapped for generations within the ship’s Earth-like biosphere, its exits locked and its walls, shielded by a holographic force field, invisible to everyone inside. For teenagers Ben and Tessa, the biosphere is the only world they’ve ever known. That is about to change. As they’re harvesting cotton on a hot afternoon, a hole opens up in a nearby meadow—like the portal to another dimension. The hole disgorges a naked man, barely conscious and clutching a human leg bone, and then vanishes. As astonishing as this is to Ben and Tessa, the man is a stranger to them, and in their small, close-knit world, no one has ever seen a stranger before.

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Category: Hard Science Fiction