As a young girl on her home colony of Tauron, Helena witnessed her parents' deaths during a Cylon attack on the final day of the first Cylon War. She fled with her sister, Lucy, but the younger sibling stumbled in the rubble. Too injured to continue, Lucy pleaded for help from her older sister, but Helena froze and, seeing a Cylon landing party, ran away and hid in a nearby storage container. She was discovered there by a Centurion sentry. As it targeted her, she picked up a folding knife and prepared to defend herself. Before the Centurion could strike, however, it received orders that a treaty had been signed and departed.
Now safe, Helena returned to where she left her sister, but the younger girl was missing. Only her doll remained. In the aftermath, Helena vowed to do whatever it took to survive.
In the colonial fleetEdit
Cain later made a name for herself as a smart and ambitious officer in the Colonial Fleet. She was something of a rising star: Commander William Adama later remarks that she was promoted "to Rear Admiral over half the Commanders on the list".
Prior to the destruction of the Twelve Colonies, Cain's flagship, the Battlestar Pegasus, was docked at the Scorpion Fleet Shipyards for a major refit. The refit team included a civilian network analyst, Gina Inviere, with whom Cain initiated a lesbian relationship. At the time of the attack, Admiral Cain, like many of her crew, was preparing to leave the ship on shore leave. The initial Cylon strike destroyed five Colonial vessels in Pegasus' immediate vicinity and severely damaged the Pegasus herself, killing 700 crew members. In a desperate gamble, Admiral Cain ordered a "blind jump" that took the Pegasus out of the combat zone. The stress of losing so many crew members appears to have contributed to Admiral Cain's later extreme behaviour and possible alcoholism.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Cain addressed her crew, promising revenge against the Cylons through a guerrilla-style war. Among her inner circle, however, she said she was not willing to foolishly risk lives in the pursuit of vengeance.
During the attack, Cain became impressed by the fortitude of her new aide, a young officer named Kendra Shaw, and quickly took the young girl under her wing, giving her the knife she found as a child. Shaw worked with Gina to restore the Pegasus computers, and they discovered a Cylon communications relay nearby. Cain saw this as the perfect opportunity to strike back at the Cylons and ordered an attack. After jumping into the range of the relay, a fleet of Cylon Raiders jumped in and attacked Pegasus. Pegasus first officer Jurgen Belzen suggested a retreat, fearing the relay was a trap. Cain doubted his judgment, instead preferring to launch a full counterstrike, hoping it would catch the Cylons offguard. When Belzen questioned the decision and refused to carry out the order, Cain took his sidearm and shot him in the head. She then appointed Colonel Jack Fisk as executive officer and ordered him to launch the attack. Shocked by Belzen's execution, Fisk immediately agreed to carry out the order.
The Cylons attempted to board Pegasus during the attack, leading to the discovery of Gina as a Cylon. With the betrayal heightened by her relationship, Cain ordered Lt. Alastair Thorne to rigorously interrogate the prisoner.
Pegasus then found 15 refugee civilian ships, but rather than protecting them like Galactica did, Admiral Cain opted to strip these civilian vessels of any useful parts and supplies, draft any civilians who had valuable technical experience into her crew, and then leave the remaining civilians aboard their ships, defenseless. If any civilians refused to join the Pegasus crew, Cain ordered their families shot. Overall, two families were killed under her orders until the draftees relented.
Six months after the Cylon holocaust, Pegasus was tracking a Cylon fleet when it accidentally encountered Galactica and her civilian ships. Taking over from Commander Adama as military commander of the fleet, Admiral Cain quickly arranges for Galactica's stores to be replenished from Pegasus's own, but neglects the civilian fleet, even going so far as to ignore President Laura Roslin's representations on the civilians' behalf.
Cain's chief military objective became identifying a mysterious Cylon vessel sighted in the fleet pursuing Galactica. Cain gives Dr. Gaius Baltar access to Gina to continue the interrogation and learn more about the ship, which is identified as a Cylon Resurrection ship. The strategic value of knocking out the Cylons' means of avoiding death is not lost on the Colonial military commanders, and so Pegasus and Galactica plan a joint operation to engage the Cylon fleet and destroy the Resurrection ship.
Concurrently with this operation, Admiral Cain and Commander Adama come into conflict over the treatment of two Galactica crew members, Lt. Karl Agathon and Chief Galen Tyrol. Admiral Cain sentences the pair to death for the murder of a Pegasus officer, Cylon interrogator Thorne. In matter of fact, Thorne's death is accidental: Agathon and Tyrol are simply trying to prevent the rape of the Cylon prisoner Sharon "Athena" Agathon. Cain and Adama come to the brink of firing on one another's vessels before standing down and agreeing to postpone their disagreements until the Resurrection ship has been destroyed. Nonetheless, each makes plans to have the other assassinated following the successful conclusion of the operation. Neither plan is carried out, much to the relief of the respective assassins: Captain Kara "Starbuck" Thrace and Colonel Fisk.
Unknown to Cain, Baltar also once had a relationship with a Six, and still had visions of one influencing his decisions. As he interrogated Gina, Baltar fell in love with her. After the Resurrection Ship is destroyed, Baltar tells Gina she deserves revenge and helps her escape. Gina kills the guard, steals his gun, and makes her way to Cain's ready room. Staring down Gina's gun, Cain tells her to "Frak you." to which Gina ironically responds "You're not my type." Gina then shoots Cain in the head.
After her death, Cain is eulogized by both Colonel (later Commander) Fisk and Captain Thrace, who says they are weaker without her. She leaves considerable disciplinary problems in her wake for later commanders of the Pegasus to deal with.
- Helena Cain at Battlestar Wiki
- Michelle Forbes on Galactica, Season 2
- Michelle Forbes on Razorfr:Helena Cain