WARNING! Today’s Inquisition is an intense two-parter that let’s you beÂ both visionary andÂ sci-fi author. It requires reason and imagination. If you are not prepared to employ both to the point where women want to be you and men want to have your children, pleaseÂ help yourself toÂ a cookie and perhaps some whiskey until your creative juices are flowing unfettered.
In the book Contact, Carl Sagan speculates,Â within the context of the story,Â what an initial contact with an alien intelligence would be like; the timing, the logistics, the methods of communication, etc.
What is your best imagined scenario for how initial contact would happen, if at all, and what is your most inventive and reasonable speculation about theÂ nature of extraterrestrialÂ life, given the impact ofÂ evolution within what could be billions of different environments?
Again, this Inquisition is imagination-intensive, but still driven by reason and the laws of the universe as we understand them today. Feel free toÂ answer inÂ broad, general strokes, orÂ with a specific fictional scenario, if you wish. Feel free also to build on other commenters’ ideas, if they strike a spark.
And have fun with it.