Civilian life in the Federation is something that isn't very well-covered by the shows. This is understandable, given their focus on Starfleet, but problematic when one wants to play such a civilian on a MUSH. Nagging questions such as the true nature of the Federation economy, how these people get around (transports? Is it that easy to buy one's own ship?), what the education system is like, and what, if any, place latinum has in the larger Federation society get in the way of having fun. Moreover, it can be hard to play a civilian in any "military" type setting--even as enlightened and exploratory-focused a military as Starfleet. (We'll ignore the "is Starfleet truly a military or not" question for now. It is, if nothing else, a more highly regimented way of life than a civilian's, and that's all that matters for this discussion.)
So let's get one problem out of the way from the outset: we are not concerned, on this game, with questions of how the civilian fits into wider Federation society. Our concern is with how civilians will fit into our game and our story.
Since our game is set on a starbase, there will be many civilians about. Make no mistake: Starbase 247 is a Starfleet installation. Starfleet runs the bases and sets forth many of the rules and regulations for life there. However, as Gibraltar is also a place of commerce and a diplomatic hub, there is a large and thriving civilian population--anywhere between 4,000-6,000 according to DITL.org.
Civilians on the starbase will include families of Starfleet officers, merchants, contractors, researchers, diplomatic staff, members of the press, teachers, and many more. Civilians run entertaniment establishments and shops for those living on the starbase and those passing through.
The starbase also has its own civil government, of which the Commanding Officer is the head. One can think of the starbase as being like a town centered around a fort, with the fort's commander as Mayor. While Starfleet runs the executive and legislative branches, an elected council provides representation for the citizens of the station. There is also a separate civilian judiciary in addition to the Starfleet JAG aboard. In addition, there are embassies from various other governments, even nearby member worlds, aboard the starbase.
(continued in 'theme civilians2')