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I saw some missions with this text:

Even the infinite vastness of space is not immune to the odd traffic jam. This could be a good opportunity to take advantage of some Civilian ships.

When I enter there, I do indeed see some civilian ships floating around, but am at a loss as to what to do with them. I'm on friendly terms with the civilians and I'd like it to stay that way. How can I 'take advantage' of them?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

As far as I know they are just used to "harvest civilians", as in, blowing the Civ ships up and taking them as prisoners.

This will of course lower your rating with the Civ's in that sector.

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