When the story told in The Trion Syndrome came to me, I knew I needed a Greek myth to accompany the story. The myth needed to crystallize the fundaments of the narrative. I worked my way through Robert Graves’ two-volume The Greek Myths but found nothing that fit the story of Dave’s decline or eventual salvation. So I made up a myth which appears just before the unlabeled prologue in the book’s text:
The Trion Myth
Ares, the god of war, beheld a maiden washing herself in a stream. Overcome with lust, he plunged into the water and ravished her. The girl bore a male child, Trion, who throughout his days would be afraid of water. Bent on revenge, the girl carried the infant Trion to the city of Thrace to confront Ares. To her surprise, the god doted on the boy and taught him the secrets of war.
Larger and stronger than other boys, Trion grew to become a fierce warrior, renowned for savagery in battle. Indifferent to pain, given to brute force, and addicted to dominance, he earned the enmity of Hera because of his cruelty to the vanquished. He fell afoul of all the gods when, as the leader of Spartan forces, he disemboweled his own infant son to demonstrate his ferocity. Aphrodite cursed him—he could never know love. At the peak of his success, Hecate sent the Eucharides, three female monsters, to destroy him. Trion fled to Delphi and consulted the oracle but refused to heed her warning to change his ways and make penitential sacrifices. The Eucharides trapped him at the mouth of the Strymon River, where it meets the Aegean Sea. There they drowned him.
End of quote. Dave discovers an unpublished novella by Thomas Mann based on the Trion story. More about that tomorrow.