Soldiers of the One
From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
The Soldiers of the One (also known as the "STO") are a group which is the militant arm of the Monad Church based on Gemenon. It is active sixty years before the Fall of the Colonies. Its singular mission is to "drive out the many Gods" and combat the decadence and corruption of Colonial society. They also seek to unite the Twelve Colonies by imposing a single monotheistic faith on all of them. The Caprican government considers them a terrorist criminal organization. Apparently the link between the Monad Church and the Soldiers of the One is still a secret in the Twelve Colonies, or at least officially denied.
The leadership of the group is based on Gemenon. They are governed by the matriarch of the church, who is known only as The Mother. The church maintains good relations with other, polytheistic faiths, which is resented by many in the STO, including Sister Clarice Willow.
Sister Clarice Willow, headmistress of the Athena Academy, is the clandestine leader of the group on Caprica. She initially reported to Barnabas Greeley (CAP: "Gravedancing"), but later was granted leadership over all STO cells on Caprica by The Mother after she carried out a coup on Gemenon. Other members include her students Lacy Rand, Ben Stark, Zoe Graystone, Keon Gatwick, Pann and Hippolyta. At least two -- Stark and Gatwick -- collected explosives.
Zoe Graystone had intended to seek refuge with the church on Gemenon prior to her death. She had plans to further the Soldiers of the One's mission that involved the process of apotheosis.
The origins of the STO are as yet unknown. Officer Duram tells Amanda Graystone that Sister Clarice was born on Gemenon at a time when the STO was actively recruiting members "to protect the new church," implying that the Monad Church and the STO are not much more than a few decades old (the exact age of Clarice is unknown). It has also been said that, after an earlier time of conflict, the STO went dormant ten years prior to the bombing of Maglev 23. Sister Clarice claims that the STO was the only thing that allowed the church to survive during an unspecified period of challenges (CAP: "Unvanquished").
58 years before the fall, a number of STO members intend to flee to Gemenon—Zoe Graystone, Ben Stark and Lacy Rand. However, Rand pulls out of the trip at the last minute and further, Stark, wearing a suicide vest, blew it up on Maglev 23—much to the surprise of Graystone, who is herself killed in the bombing.
Sister Willow refers to this as "premature" and "unauthorized" (Caprica). However, a second attack in Caprica City on an empty building follows soon after. A third attack on the Caprica Spaceport, ordered by Barnabas in a plan to kill Clarice, is attempted but fails.
Clarice Willow and Barnabas Greeley were originally the leaders of two STO factions in Caprica City. The two groups have come into conflict; Barnabas even tried to kill Clarice (CAP: "End of Line"). This conflict eventually leads Clarice to travel to the church's headquarters on Gemenon, where she presents them with a plan for a devastating suicide attack on Atlas Arena in Caprica City. Further, she shows them how the holobands can be used to create avatars for the dead bombers through apotheosis. This, Clarice believes, can become the church's most powerful tool to recruit new members, since it allows people to see the afterlife in this life. One of the church's elders, Obal Ferras, is disturbed by Clarice's suggestions and asks The Mother for permission to kill her, which is granted. However, Clarice, suspecting his intentions, turns the other STO members against him, and kills him before he can enact his plan. The Mother, clearly horrified by this act, nevertheless feels powerless to stop Clarice, and grants Clarice her request to take command over all STO cells on Caprica. Clarice then returns to Caprica and kills Barnabas and those who are loyal to him.
Finding Lacy Rand among Barnabus' followers, Clarice sends her to Gemenon to take part in a youth training program. Hoping that this will give the girl "time to reflect", Clarice inadvertently brings about the downfall of the STO leadership. Lacy Rand becomes further alienated from the STO by their ruthless training program and attempts to assassinate her when she is discovered to have inexplicable command over U-80 Cylon robots under STO control. With the help of these robots and fellow recruits, Lacy leads a successful coup against the STO and Monad Church leadership and becomes reverend mother herself.
Having seized control of all STO assets on Caprica, Clarice Willow begins preparations for apotheosis and the Atlas Arena terrorist attack. These operations are thwarted, however, by the actions of the Graystones and Clarice's cell is effectively destroyed in the process without successfully attaining apotheosis. Clarice Willow herself survives and turns to concentrate on converting the Cylons to rise up against their human creators. She returns to Gemenon to seek assistance from the Revered Mother, but discovers that Lacy Rand has overthrown the STO leadership. As new leader of the Monad Church, Lacy Rand expresses antipathy towards Clarice. This and Lacy Rand's faction's non-violent leanings suggest that the STO's violent agenda has at least temporarily been put on hold.