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Athena

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Dr. Eileen Farrow waited for Sergeant Garcia to verify her identity and security clearance. This was Eileen's first visit to the new facility built to house the Cylons who had been placed into custody on Beta Colony six months ago. Cylon Sharon Agathon had just been assigned to her caseload.

The buzzer sounded. She took a deep breath and walked into the scanner. "You're clear. Come on in, Dr. Farrow."

After the investigators on Barrayar had confirmed the identities of Cylons scattered throughout the Colonial fleet, they had been transferred en masse to Beta Colony, at the behest of Gregor Vorbarra, the ruler of that barbaric planet. It was the right call. The Cylons were, after all, sentient beings, and as such, they would have rights on Beta that could not be assured on Barrayar. Beta Colony had offered to take in as many of the high risk refugee population as they could safely absorb, and several hundred Colonials had already been placed here.

Her first session with Sharon was scheduled for this afternoon but first she wanted to talk with the senior psych tech who had been with the Cylons from day one, Greg Lee. As she walked in and the double doors closed and locked behind her, he stood and extended his hand.

"We've been expecting you, Dr. Farrow."

"Please. Call me Eileen."

"Great." He smiled. "I'm Greg, then. Come back to my office." He buzzed her in and gestured for her to sit. "You have read her files?"

She had.

Thursday, 5 April. Initial intake interview. Sharon Agathon gave responses required of POW enemy combatants. Re: Cylon military strategy – no response. Re: attempted genocide of persons known as Colonials – no response. Re: alleged torture while incarcerated by Colonial military – no response. Re: military intent behind her relationship with Karl Agathon – no response.

Friday, 6 April. Session one, mandatory.
S: n/a
O: Would answer only yes or no questions. Refuses meals. No response to questions pertaining to Cylon military strategy, attempted genocide, or alleged mistreatment during Colonial internment. Questions re: her relationship to Karl Agathon and the death of her daughter Hera were not answered. No eye contact. Affect: sad, listless, withdrawn.
A: Definitive diagnosis is difficult given lack of cooperation, plus absence of baseline Cylon psychology. Tentative: Major depression, PTSD. Sharon is a remarkable, complex cyborg organism.
See attached interview with husband Karl Agathon for detailed personal and medical history.

She had read that, too . Sharon's mistreatment by Colonial military personnel was appalling, inexcusable, even criminal.

P: Sessions 2x day. Continue high risk self-harm protocol. Consider anti-depressant (if approved by attending).

Six months of entries with no progress whatsoever. Sharon's dual status as sentient AI and POW, enemy combatant, meant she had to attend sessions but didn't have to participate in therapy, or engage with staff. Her three prior therapists had all requested reassignment.

"Yes. But I'd appreciate your impressions."

"Sure. Well, Sharon's been granted the same privileges they all have. But she never leaves her room," Greg explained, "Not for exercise, library time, language instruction, group, vid nights, or even visitation days. It's like she's completely shut down."

"She gets visitors," said Eileen. "Do you find that surprising?"

"Not really. Most of them do, you know. Some of them had no idea what they were. There's even a married couple who're convinced it's all a big mistake." Greg shrugged. "But the tests don't lie, least that's what we've been told."

"You were telling me about her visitors?" Eileen prompted.

"So I was. Well, Karl Agathon, he's supposed to be her husband. Since he arrived on planet, he's been here every evening, waiting in the anteroom, hoping she'll come out." Greg sounded almost envious. "That's real devotion."

"Is there anything else I should know before I see her?"

"No, it's all there, but if I think of anything, I'll add it to her file. You're pre-authorized so you can go in whenever you're ready."

"Thank you." She tapped on her data pad to review Agathon's profile. She should share the new information with his therapist before their next scheduled meeting. She could use an ally. According to Colonial records, Sharon and Karl had a baby daughter, Hera. They'd held her, begun to bond with her, and then suddenly she was taken away. These young parents were then told by their doctor that the baby had died. Incredibly, they were refused permission to see the body. This had raised a red flag to Karl's Barrayaran advocate, of all people, which triggered an investigation. The baby, now called Isis, had been found alive, and was living on Barrayar with her foster mother.

It would take some doing for the Agathons to qualify as custodial parents under Betan law, but restoration of parental rights was Eileen's goal. She believed they could make a strong case that their rights had been terminated without due process, and that their daughter had in effect been kidnapped and given away to another woman to raise. It was shocking, really. The responsible parties—including the former Colonial President, Laura Roslin, who was living right here on Beta Colony, undergoing treatment for a rare form of cancer—should be held accountable.

Even family reunification wasn't impossible, although ironically it might require Karl returning to patriarchal Barrayar, where "father's rights" were enshrined in laws and customs. Sharon needed a reason to get better, a reason to cooperate, a reason to live. Eileen was convinced that Hera was the key. If she could convince Sharon to attend parenting classes with Karl, that would be a start, and would give them a chance to reconnect. Karl's devotion to Sharon against all odds demonstrated an aptitude for nurturing, for loving unselfishly, that could be developed.

That decided it. She would fight for them.

Helo, Athena and Hera