A story idea came to me while thinking about the electrical nature of the brain and brainwaves. Brain activity is, of course, electrical in part and the overall activity of the brain produces waves that can be detected through the skin by an EEG (electroencephalogram).
I wondered, “What if someone were naturally keenly sensitive to these mind patterns through the means of electrical conduction, so that if he or she were to touch someone, that would allow picking up the electrical conductivity through another person’s skin, which this person would somehow understand, in effect allowing mind reading?” But the problem with that is the EEG pattern is far to general to reflect specific thoughts. At best it could convey a mood.
However, some brainwave patterns are associated with forms of consciousness other than normal wakefulness. So then I thought, “What if someone had the ability to emit a naturally powerful (but strange) electrical generation of their own brain to override someone else’s brainwave pattern and put that other brain into whatever pattern he or she wished?”
Such a person could instantly drop another person into various stages of sleep, including dreaming (REM) sleep. People like that could also force a person’s brain into the highly suggestive state associated with hypnotism.
Imagine a story in which a villain has such a power. On contact skin to skin contact, his powerful brainwaves can force another person into another state of consciousness. He could use this in a wide variety of ways, but hypnosis would be his primary power—taking what he wanted from others by reprogramming them to do his bidding.
So then imagine the hero having a sort of brain defect that makes him or her immune to the villain’s power, but which also limits and challenges the protagonist. This could be a variety of things for the sake of a story: schizophrenia, cerebral palsy, autism, or even something more extreme, such as having had surgery to divide the hemispheres of the brain to stop severe childhood seizures or something.
Whatever the case is, the villain at some point would try to override the protagonist’s brain based on changing brainwaves through skin contact, but finds it can’t be done for this one person, who in turn realizes something very strange just happened—which the villain can’t allow anyone to know about. The protagonist now has to face the villain’s henchmen chasing after him or her, in the meantime struggling with his or her own brain deficiency, while trying to understand who the villain really is and what he is up to…