During the mid-2050s, the thunderstorms began gaining intensity and frequency. Before long, a few people fell victim to a strange condition which never developed a proper medical name. Some called it "storm-sickness." Other names included "electroplague," "neuroblight" and "overload."
The victims of this condition had their minds overtaken by the ambient electrical activity which permeated the atmosphere. Neuroscientists discovered that, in the presence of total, sustained brain stimulation, the ancient reptilian brain dominated behavior. People stricken by storm sickness became slaves to their base functions. They became mindless zombies in a frantic and violent pursuit of food, sex and territorial dominance.
Although cases were thankfully few, Dr. Swan and other scientists theorized that a big enough storm, lasting over enough time could potentially drive the whole population to this state. Unfortunately, there were no signs of the storms abating and whispers of a coming Great Storm were gaining ground throughout society.