An alien spaceship explodes above Earth and showers us with debris and a virus, resulting in children born with enhanced senses and special powers.
These human-alien hybrid youngsters are also affected by a powerful quantum computer built by scientists from a decrypted alien code.
Did all of this really happen? Or could it happen in the future?
You can see these events unfolding each week on Science Channel's "Alien Encounters" series. Amid vivid dramatizations of possible scenarios involving contact between earthlings and extraterrestrials, the show checks in with leading astronomers, futurists, scientists, computer specialists and science fiction writers who consider what would be the impact of humans meeting another intelligent species.
Recent episodes have introduced a quantum computer to the show's ongoing scenario. Unlike traditional computers -- which rely on binary units, called "bits," that can be expressed as either ones or zeroes -- a quantum computer employs quantum bits, or qubits, which can exist in both states at once.
"What this results in, to put it simply, is it makes our computers today look like people scratching on rocks with flint points to try and calculate something," said the fantasy and science fiction author Alan Dean Foster.
Foster, who wrote the story for 1979's "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" and penned novelizations of "Star Wars," the first three "Alien" movies and two "Transformers" films, told The Huffington Post that with a quantum computer, "you can do immensely complicated computations very, very quickly."
"In fact, one of the interesting things about quantum computers is that they're so fast that we're not clever enough yet to devise sufficient problems for them to solve," Foster went on. "If aliens were to send us really nice detailed blueprints for a device that was capable of doing things -- answering questions -- we don't have enough brainpower or abilities to figure out the questions to ask yet."
"You might get an answer, but you might not understand the answer because you're not smart enough," said Foster.
HuffPost asked Foster what he thinks, as a science fiction writer, about the idea that a destroyed alien ship could cause the eventual creation of hybrid human-alien children.
"If you want to merge with another species or make them your friends or conquer them, or however you want to do it, a very primitive way is to come and bomb the crap out of them -- which solves nothing and damages a really useful planet and is a very ninth-century way of dealing with other people," Foster said.
"Instead of that, you try to make them your friends. If you're actually lucky enough to meet another intelligent species -- it's a very lonely place out there in the galaxy, and people you can talk to and have over for a drink and play cards with, at least that's a start. At least it's somebody to talk to. And that's the basic premise of 'Alien Encounters.'"
"Alien Encounters" airs Tuesdays on Science Channel at 10 p.m. Check your local listings for more information.