In Greek mythology, Icarus is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus, the creator of the Labyrinth. Often depicted in art, Icarus and his father attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus’s father warns him first of complacency and then of hubris, asking that he fly neither too low nor too high, so the sea’s dampness would not clog his wings or the sun’s heat melt them. Icarus ignored his father’s instructions not to fly too close to the sun, whereupon the wax in his wings melted and he fell into the sea. This tragic theme of failure at the hands of hubris contains similarities to that of Phaethon.
Project Icarus is based on this myth. Formed by Delta Green in 1987, the Project has operated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from the home base of DuBois. It’s purpose was to monitor the well-being and status of operatives in the Commonwealth who once worked with Delta Green but who were discharged from active duty.
Project Icarus has been caring for Delta Green agents who can no longer serve as active members of the Task Forces. These men and women are our angels with broken wings, living out each day with the scars inflicted by the creatures that seek to devour humanity. They have confronted the Evil with much hubris and suffered for their effort.
As Nietzsche said, “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
This is true for any agent fighting against the monsters that go bump in the night. The trauma involved with facing paranormal and supernatural creatures is sometimes beyond the scope of the simple human mind.
This is a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which can develop following a traumatic event. It can affect those who personally experience the catastrophe, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces afterwards, including emergency workers and law enforcement officers. It can even occur in the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma.
It is common for people to feel that no matter what they’ve faced or lived with, no matter how extreme, they should be able to carry on. But sometimes people face situations that are so traumatic that they may become unable to cope and function in their daily lives. Some agents become so distressed by memories of the trauma – memories that won’t go away – that they begin to live their lives trying to avoid any reminders of what happened to them.
We at Project Icarus are a dedicated group of professional and advocacy organizations that have joined forces to provide educational resources to agents diagnosed with PTSD and their loved ones; those at risk for developing PTSD; and medical, healthcare and other frontline professionals.