Colonial Citizenship for Sharon?

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Colonial Citizenship for Sharon?

Post by throw-41 on Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:02 am

I’m wondering if Sharon had to get Colonial citizenship before she and Helo could get married?
It seems benign, but legally she wasn’t a person but rather just a thing.
I would also assume she needed to be a citizen to be sworn in as an officer.

I’m not just pulling this out of thin air, but it is actually brought up in “A Disquiet Follows My Soul” when Tyrol makes the following demand for the Rebel Cylons:
“We want to be part of the fleet. Not just along for the ride. Full members, citizens, seat on the quorum, the whole thing.”

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Re: Colonial Citizenship for Sharon?

Post by President Ackbar on Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:35 pm

Hmmmm, never thought of that!
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Re: Colonial Citizenship for Sharon?

Post by jock_tamsons_wee_brother on Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:30 am

I didn't think about this as well.

A way to look at this is contrasting how Boomer and Athena was treated. Boomer was killed by Cally yet she was only given 30 days in brigs. Her sentence was because she had let off a firearm. That quite clearly stated that Boomer was not capably of being murdered as legally she was not defined as could be killed much in the same way as killing a rodent could be defined as murder in the legal sense. Athena was treated much in the same way but she was different that she was made pregnant by a human and more importantly in terms of situation faced, the person who made her pregnant was a member of the military and de-facto power in the fleet. That very fact that made her legal definition different from Boomer hard to argue for so she had to be entitled to rights at least, maybe not as a Colonial citizen but as a human being and prisoner of war. IMHO, that was also strengthened by the acceptance and popularity that Helo gained when he returned to the fleet.

When her legal status/definition was agreed, I would assume it would have been a matter of time before she was eventually accepted as a Colonial citizen and a military officer. Of course there would be many legal and moral arguments about how she would gain citizenship especially as an enemy and non-human but as you say a way to get round this or to be crude, a fudge, would be marriage to a popular and respected military officer.

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Re: Colonial Citizenship for Sharon?

Post by throw-41 on Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:03 pm

It is clear that Boomer and Athena were not treated equally once it turned out that they were Cylons. That isn't the question. The question is rather how Adama justified giving Athena a full "human" status despite the fact that she was a Cylon.

At the time Boomer was shot by Cally it was a clear case of murder. Boomer was at that time at the most suspected to be a Cylon (Gaeta: "Valerii's shot the old man. She must be a Cylon,..."), but this was only conclusively confirmed after she was dead via autopsy.
That Adama sentenced Cally only for discharging a firearm has a couple of reasons:
1. Boomer had actually turned out to be a Cylon
2. As Chief stated, they needed every qualified maintenance tech they had.

But despite Boomer shooting him he could not see her just as a machine as this exchange with the Chief highlights:
Adama: "Boomer, did you love her?"
Tyrol: "I thought I did"
Adama: "When you think you love somebody, you love them. That’s what love is – thoughts. She was a Cylon. A machine. Is that what Boomer was? A machine? A thing?"
Tyrol: "That’s what she turned out to be."
Adama: "She was more than that to us. She was more than that to me. She was a vital, living person… aboard my ship for almost two years. She couldn’t have been just a machine. Could you love a machine?"
Tyrol: "No, sir. I guess I couldn’t have."

And later he cried over her dead body, mourning the loss of a "daughter".
Unfortunately it takes quite a while, but ultimately he transfers the feelings he had for Boomer to Athena and she becomes even more a daughter to him than Boomer and at some point she is even closer to him than Starbuck.


Athena's case is quite a bit different from Boomer's and needs to be broken down into 4 phases/periods:

1. On Caprica with Helo

It is clear when she finally realizes that she is in love with Helo and switches sides: the morning of Day 25, after she was ordered to kill Helo should he refuse to stay with her in an “all the comforts” house on Caprica. She realized that he would continue to try to get off Caprica. She realized that because she started having the same urge (she admits that later in Home: Pt. 2: "...You know, the memory of being in a uniform is so strong, is so potent, it's, like, I'm Sharon Valerii and this is my family...").

But she must have started to have feeling for him much earlier. Her transformation likely started as soon as she downloaded Boomer’s Sharon Valerii memories.

I think Athena actually acted far more with her handlers than with Helo. Yes she played Helo, but Boomer’s memories that made her Sharon Valerii were 100% human and can’t have left her as cold as she played it when she, Five and Six were observing Helo. And the Six clearly sensed that, which is why she gave her that unnecessarily vicious beating and later spoke rather ill of her.

And Athena did not only fall in love with Helo, more importantly she also fell in love with herself as Sharon Valerii – the same way Boomer’s Eight describes it in The Plan: “I’m happier when I’m under. I’m happier when I’m human. I like myself. I love myself then.” I'm sure Athena felt the same, especially when with Helo.

She drew the ultimate conclusion and switched sides after she realized that the Cylon side was wrong, that the destruction of the Colonies and murder of billions of humans had been a mistake, an unspeakable crime. This becomes clear in Colonial Day when she tests if she can tell Helo the truth: "You know, if they were human clones that means they're capable of-- of complex emotions, maybe even love. Maybe they were misguided in the way they were indoctrinated, but...".

Athena had the advantage that she had the freedom to choose who she wanted to be. And unlike other Cylons who had fallen in love with a human she also had the strength and determination to follow through on her decision, even if it meant to switch sides and become a traitor to her people. Most other Cylons in similar situations either refused to execute their mission and committed suicide (out of resurrection range like Simon O’Neill) or executed their mission and then lived in misery (Caprica-Six until she got offered a way to join the humans by Athena).
Athena was the only one who recognized her wrongdoings and instantly drew the right conclusions. Not only did she reject following the orders she was given, but she went a step further and actually defected to be on the right side, even though it was seemingly the losing side of the war and caused her more than a little bit of hardship.


2. Prisoner of War/Cylon Defector (Home Pt. 1 to Lay Down your Burdens Pt. 2)

What saved her here was her cooperation in finding the Tomb of Athena and her continued cooperation and support.
Another factor was also her relation with Helo and her pregnancy.
The thing that isn't really shown much is the support she also got from Baltar because of his interest in her child (and likely also some blackmail from Athena's side. She - like all Cylons besides Boomer - likely knew about his part in the fall of the colonies).


3. Trusted Prisoner, Helo's wife and Adama's confidante (Lay Down your Burdens to Occupation)

During this time she was clearly seen as a person and possibly even got citizenship. To marry Helo she had to be legally a person - you can't legally marry a thing. And it has to be in that order. Helo could not have married her and their marriage then be used to justify that she is a person.

As for when: I would assume Adama allowed them to get married soon after Founder's Day (~Day 430 ACH). In the Unfinished Business flashbacks, Adama said to Lee about Starbuck’s marriage: “… Well she deserves it then. We all deserve to be happy. I also gave her permission to muster out, along with Tyrol and Cally, a few of the others. ...”
Lee and Dee married soon after. Given that general mood it would also be likely for him to allow Helo and Athena finally to marry and likely also give them some means of living together, even if with restrictions.

There are strong indicators that she was not strictly confined to her cell anymore but could actually spend the nights with Helo. This is kind of implied when Tigh later states “…He fought the enemy. While you were snuggled up in bed with your Cylon wife every night…” (The Woman King).

The scene that showed her “upgraded” cell in “Occupation” also gives hints that she wasn’t really a prisoner anymore.
- Adama meets with her alone, the door is open and there are no Marines in sight: he clearly trusts her.
- The intercom is partially blocked and the window there covered by a curtain – it doesn’t look like it is used anymore.
- The bed looks unused, as if she only spends daytime hours in that cell, but doesn’t sleep there anymore. Of course, the bed could have been made nicely, though that doesn’t really align with what was shown before or with Tigh's statement.
- Helo is the XO during the 4 months of the occupation. It would rather be strange for Adama to let them get married but then keep Helo's wife locked up in a cell, particularly in light of the level of trust she had achieved at that point.


4. Officer in the Colonial Fleet (Precipice and following)

From the point on where she was sworn in as an officer she clearly had full "human rights" and as a commissioned Officer even command over human enlisted personal and Officers junior to her. So just hitting her would have been a court martial offense for enlisted personal. Killing her would clearly have been murder.
(That Helo wasn't thrown into the brig after killing her in Rapture was only due to the fact that Adama knew she had asked for it to get her child back... and of course because she came back fine and with her kid.)

Athena actually turned out more loyal to Adama, the Fleet or the humans than a good number of humans (see the NCP collaborators on New Caprica and all the crew and civilians participating in Gaeta's Mutiny).


So how did Adama do it?

There is a clear hint how she got citizenship and could become an Officer with instant seniority (she was sworn in as Lieutenant Junior Grade and not Ensign like anyone else joining the fleet for the first time as an officer): Athena's serial number was identical to Boomer's! On top of that she was sworn in (or technically rather "reinstated") at Sharon Valerii's (Boomer's) rank and with recognition of Sharon Valerii's (Boomer's) service record and qualifications. Boomer's Sharon Valerii had citizenship and went through the fleet academy and flight school the usual way. Nothing of her military history was faked. So all they needed to do was to find a way to transfer Sharon Valerii's legal status to Athena and find a justification why it wouldn't matter that she is a Cylon. The latter was likely easy do. After all the help she provided she clearly was a "good Cylon".

For her "reinstatement" into the fleet Adama likely reinterpreted the events between the Cylon Attack and when Boomer shot him and fudged the facts to see Athena as the true Sharon Valerii who stayed behind with Helo on Caprica while reinterpreting the Boomer who returned from Caprica without Helo as an impostor/replacement. While this is of course a lie in it's own right, it clearly is how Adama comes to see Athena - she becomes the true Sharon Valerii to him, the one from before the war, the one he loved like a daughter.
This is also supported by the quite hateful treatment Boomer later receives by Adama, Tigh and Roslin when she later returns (Eye of Jupiter, Deadlock, Someone to Watch Over Me).


Athena vs Boomer

Athena started out as a normal "evil" Cylon. She was definitely part of the attacking forces in the initial attack on the Colonies, as one of their combat pilots from what I can tell, judging by her piloting skills (Heavy Raider, Starbucks "hacked" Raider, Raptor,...), her "Hard Eight" demeanor and other qualifications  (this is also highlighted by the fact that Boomer seemingly wasn't able to fly a Heavy Raider and always had to rely on Raptors). Athena was forgiven her part in the destruction of the Colonies because she had, trough her love to Helo, come to realize that the genocide on the humans was a mistake and that she and most other Cylons had been deceived and were misguided. She drew the right conclusions out of that insight and switched sides and was from thereon fiercely loyal to Helo, Adama and the human cause, even if it meant to help wiping out her entire race.
But I think there was far more to her. She had (found) an inner strength and stability the other Eights just lacked. This is likely due to her love to Helo. I'm quite certain had she been shot like Boomer and resurrected, she would have fought tooth and nails to make her way back to Helo and the fleet. She would not have given up until she had reached her goal or was dead for real.

Boomer on the other hand started out good. She not only had no part in the actual attack herself, but also was largely responsible for saving many humans when collecting the ships with survivors. Even when her sleeper personality committed acts of sabotage, her Sharon Valerii personality did everything possible to fix the damage. But after Cally shot her, when she was back on Caprica trying to cling on to her human life, her weakness became apparent. Instead of stealing a ship and returning to the fleet she rather wallowed in self pity. It was only through Caprica-Six's strength and realization (same as Athena's) that they had been misguided that gave Boomer another chance.
But on New Caprica she did everything wrong. She had all the chances Athena had to redeem herself. But where Athena was strong and chose the hard and thorny way, endured mistreatment, abuse and imprisonment, Boomer was weak and chose the seemingly easy way out. On New Caprica she had every opportunity to redeem herself by helping the Resistance, but she rather played it safe and did the Cylon's bidding despite realizing that they were wrong.

While Athena's strength and love to Helo was her salvation, Boomer's weakness and later love to Cavil was her downfall.

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Re: Colonial Citizenship for Sharon?

Post by jock_tamsons_wee_brother on Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:00 pm

Just wanted to say thanks throw-41 for such an outstanding post :-)

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