Fear of the future drove many to turn inwards, to take control of their lives by way of hedonistic endeavors. Within the ValuSelu Pact, Engine Anthem exacerbated this with the invention of Sensate, a peer-to-peer thought and sensation-sharing implant. It caught on like wildfire.
At first it was lauded for the simplicity of communication it allowed, but as new versions allowed for increasingly complex transmissions of sensation the domestic market thrived.
Sensate communities emerged, each a tribe unto itself. As they shared more and more of their thoughts and sensations they became quasi-hiveminds—factories which began to incidentally flood the world with wild thoughtforms such as Echo
to the point of becoming a global disaster. Most were weak enough for an Auric Scrubber
to dispatch, but by sheer volume they still managed to lurk in all the dark corners of the cities. From one of the larger Sensate tribes rose a particularly vicious Focus