Individuals living entirely on the GA do not have any employment, jobs or skills. For the most part life is boring, tasteless, chilly and somewhat squalid. Spare time is taken up with gambling, making and drinking Buzzer and indulging in various recreational, and often illegal, drugs. As a result drunkenness, brawling, theft, assault, rape, prostitution and similar activities are rife on ships and decks that are largely GA. The only obligation and training a GA adult has is to serve as a Fire Fighter in the event of an emergency.
There are about 14,000 people living entirely on the GA in the Fleet.
Though it certainly sustains life, the GA and FI do not make for a very pleasant or comfortable life. If you want something more out of life you simply must have a job.
There are a lot of paying jobs in the Fleet. The Military is by far the single largest employer. Over 35,000 people serve in the military, either as Regulars, Auxiliaries or Contractors.
The next largest set of employers are the Industrial Ships and the Agro Ships. About 19,000 work in the Industrial/Agricultural areas of the Fleet.
Another 14,000 work in what is called the ‘Civilian Sector.’ This is a diverse group that includes individuals such as, cooks and serving staff in the clubs and lounges, beauticians, tailors/seamstress, actors & actresses, musicians, news reporters, entertainment technicians, shop keepers, casino workers, child care specialists, servants for the wealthy, socialators, teachers & educators, various craftsmen and artists and in short, almost any other job you can imagine.
The remaining 18,000 people, who are neither GA or listed as employed in the various areas, are either the children and dependents of those employed in the Fleet or, are retired.
Not every member of the Colonial Military is a Warrior. The Warriors, the actual combat forces of the military, actually number around 4,000. Most of the rest provide the support functions that keep the warships operating, maintain the Vipers, care for the injured, feed the crews and in general keep the military machine functioning.
Colonial Regulars fall into two primary categories. Warriors and Technical Support.
Warriors are combat specialists. The best and most qualified Warriors are trained as Viper Pilots, others serve as shuttle pilots, AFV (Armored Fighting Vehicle) crew , or ground troops. Only Warriors are eligible for Bridge stations and Command responsibilities on the warships.
Technical Support has a wide range of specialties. These include Medical and Science staff, Engineers and maintenance specialists and Logistical Services (Food & Supply.) Each of these areas have scores of sub categories in them.
Auxiliaries: The Auxiliaries were organized in the Fleet to solve several Command and Control problems. Early in the Fleet’s existence the owners and captains of the civilian ships were basically independent. Their loyalty was one of necessity brought on by the circumstances they found themselves in. Several incidents where ship captains, or the ship’s owner, chose to ignore Fleet orders or deserted the Fleet after using Fleet resources to repair or supply their ships, led the Council to order that all ships and their officers and crew were now part of the Colonial Military and subject to military discipline and justice. (Council Edict #6789) Complex negotiations and financial arrangements were made to compensate ship owners for their losses, but it proved worthwhile from a logistics view point.
Another issue that needed resolving was a Civilian Police Force. Crime and corruption was a growing problem in the Fleet (it is still an issue but it is now manageable.) To solve this problem the Council Security Guard was enlarged and its role expanded to that of Internal Fleet Security. It was also incorporated into the Auxiliaries for training and logistical purposes. (Council Edict #6790) It still serves as Council Security, but now there are Security teams or officers on every civilian ship in the Fleet.
Contractors: These are civilians working for the military in any of a variety of specialist functions. Most Contractors are scientists or specialist technicians working in R&D (Research and Development). Pay is good, similar to those in Industrial careers. No uniform or clothing allotments, but food is military grade and housing is included.
Military pay is very good and with it comes a lot of prestige (especially for Warriors and above all, Viper pilots.) Day to day living standards are better on the warships then in most of the civilian vessels. Food quality, and quantity, is much better then GA standard, uniforms are provided and there is even a pension. Pay is based on rank, skills, specialty etc.
Industrial and Agro Careers
The officers and crews of the industrial and agro ships were designated Auxiliaries under Edict 6789 but the actual workers and technicians were not. The Industrial and Agricultural ships are absolutely critical to the Fleet. Without them the people would starve, the ships would breakdown and the end would come quickly.
There is a wide variety of skills needed on these ships. Most careers require considerable training, though there are some low level maintenance type work to be done.
Pay is excellent! Better then the equivalent position in the military. However there is no corresponding prestige to the position of ‘Factory Technician’ as comes with the military career. Though housing standards are generally better, food, beyond the GA standard, is charged against pay. There is no uniform allowance, though some gear may be provided as needed. There are pensions. Pay is based on skills and seniority.
Just as this covers a wide range of occupations it also has a wide range of pay structures, ranging from poor to excellent. A few points of note:
Though the Fleet’s factory ships can build virtually anything from a hair brush to a small starship, there is a limited amount of production capacity available. This has created a situation where many products and commodities are always in short supply and in some cases simply nonexistent. This in turn has created an economic opportunity for craftsman, technicians, tailors, seamstresses, and many others to develop and practice a trade. This development is seen as beneficial by the Council of Twelve. It generates economic activity, frees up manufacturing capacity and (maybe most importantly) gives people something to do.
For example, rather then trying to manufacture a vast range of styles, colors and accessories in clothing and related goods. The textile ship, in addition to FI jump suits, vacuum suits, military uniforms and gear, manufactures an array of fabrics and sells it to the various designers, tailors and seamstresses who then make clothing to order or to suit common tastes.
The ‘Entertainment’ sector of the Civilian job market is a major employment source. The large cruise ships have many forms of entertainment built into them to appeal to the well heeled customers that they were built to cater to. Today these chanceries (casinos) clubs, theaters, amusement parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, health clubs, sports facilities and ‘others’ provide the main methods of letting off steam and relaxing in the Fleet. They are open all the time are well staffed and, though they can run from inexpensive to outrageous, always in demand.
Many people with paying jobs still rely on the GA and FI allocations to supplement their existence. They may treat themselves to an occasional ‘real meal’ or buy some more fashionable clothing or a luxury or two, but most of their meals are GA and a large part of their personal kit is FI. They may even be housed in GA areas, depending on their finances. (Usually the first upgrade anyone makes is in accommodations.) For some, better accommodations come with the job, for others getting Sealed (married) and having a family will bring better living arrangements.
The ‘typical’ civilian with a mid level job lives in GA accommodations, but on a ‘better’ ship where the ‘Commons’ aren’t too dingy. He, or she, eats GA for most meals and eats ‘real’ one or two times a secton (week) In addition to the FI jumpsuits he has a couple nice outfits and may have had a tailor modify the FI outfits to taste. He owns a few luxury items and has some money in the bank. Once or twice a hetarie he visits the cruise ships for a few days of fun and frolic before returning to the daily grind.