'The Slum' is the unofficial term that has been adopted to describe the Civilian Section (formerly the Marine Barrack Section) of the Battlestar Hermes. Just over a week following the attack on the Twelve Colonies the Hermes encountered three civilian ships virtually adrift in space. These were the survivors of the Scylla and her small fleet of civilian ships that had been left for dead by the Battlestar Pegasus. With their ships now useless Commander Artimus Bowman ordered that the three thousand civilians be brought aboard Hermes and placed in the Marine Barrack Section of the ship even though it was designed for half that number.(Hermes:MoS)

'The Slum' quickly lived up to its name becoming dirty and overcrowded as people tried to make some sort of life aboard the Battlestar. Many factions quickly formed depending on the Colony that the individuals stemmed from. For the first month following their arrival the Civilians were kept quiet by the small contingent of Marines guarding them but this didn't last and the troubles soon began.