Orions are known for their distinctive green skin, with some racial subtones of skin ranging through grey/blue/yellow. Typically they have black hair, though it is not uncommon for males to be completely hairless.
Orion females are infamously carnal and seductive in nature – possessing highly potent pheromones that can, over time, dramatically alter the behaviour of males around them, even of other species; this causes heightened adrenaline and aggression, as well as making them more susceptible to suggestion. This also has a negative effect on females, causing headaches and discomfort. Traditionally Orion females are sold as slaves to a male buyer, only to eventually take over their owner’s desires and cause him to lose his free will.
Orion males are known for their above-average physique and toughness. It is noted that the average male Orion is capable of great feats of fortitude, even capable of resisting phaser stun blasts.
Hailing from the Orion Colonies in the Pi-3 Orionis system, the Orions are a warp-capable species making up a number of star systems in the Beta Quadrant, close to several core Federation worlds.
As early as the 2150s the Orions were well-known for being raiders, pirates, and thieves. Even before the formation of the Coalition of Planets, Orion piracy was common and ruthless. Orion interceptors would attack helpless ships and steal what valuables they could find as well as abducting the crews to be sold into slavery. Although a significant portion of Orion society is associated with the Orion Syndicate, the criminal enterprises that make up a vast amount of their culture, there are other trade organisations such as the Orion Free Traders that operate a less illicit form of trade.
Generally Orions desire wealth and influence, which provides them with prestige. Although all painted with the same brush – as criminals working for the syndicate – to many Orions, trade and accumulation of wealth is their way of life and does not necessarily involve criminal activity. Morally ambiguous, they simply wish to find the fastest way to accumulate that wealth.
Typically the Orions have never had a spacegoing navy as such. Most Orion ships are privately owned and purchased or stolen from other races. Without a centralised ‘military’ element, they maintain a strict code of neutrality in political terms. They did however maintain reasonable relations with the Klingon Empire, particularly around the 2250s.
Prior to 2270, the Orions had carefully maintained this air of neutrality, especially while operating in and around Federation space. This, however, had proven to be more of a guise than a reality, and was often used as an effort to cover their usually shady operations. Nevertheless, Orion’s official position of neutrality was valued before ship and crew, as all unsuccessful Orion missions ended in suicide. Orions would keep that rationale in good conscience, as they would otherwise fall subject to Federation retaliation, if they were to lose their neutrality.
Throughout the 2200s, Orion activities generally focused on circumventing Federation laws and regulations, particularly around trade. Having a vastly different ideology based around their completely free and unregulated economy meant their values and modus operandi were particularly incompatible with the growing Federation influence. A number of documented instances exist of Orions attempting to subvert Federation control over key trade goods such as dilithium exports. A well-known example of this is the Babel Peace Conference, which an Orion saboteur had infiltrated in the hopes of triggering hostility and conflict between Federation members.
Proposed Post-War OF History
During the Dominion War, the Orion Syndicate in particular flourished. With Starfleet distracted by conflict, its ability to police territory was diminished and as such Orion privateering activities grew. Officially neutral, they traded with all sides, both in goods and secrets.
The end of the war was a problem for the Syndicate, who now had to deal with battle-hardened Starfleet ships and crews returning to patrol and keep the peace. As before, they withdrew from some of their riskier endeavours but were among the first to take advantage of a weakened Cardassian Empire. Various ‘confiscated’ Cardassian, Breen and Dominion weapons and technologies wound up on the black market, traded for the most part by Syndicate opportunists.
The rise of the Typhon pact presented further opportunities for Orion investment, as the paranoid Romulans, in particular, utilised Orion smugglers for covert assignments into Federation and Klingon territories. This changed dramatically with the advent of Hobus. Suddenly the price of passage out of Romulan space skyrocketed, and the Orions were there to make a profit through illegally-arranged passage. Unfortunately, many Romulans and particularly the more physically capable Remans found themselves at the mercy of the Orion Syndicate and sold into captivity and slavery.
With the Federation taking an isolationist stance, the Orions filled the gap, alongside the Ferengi and the Klingons. While the latter raided and occupied territory, the Orions and Ferengi directly competed in economic opportunism to pick the bones of the vastly weakened Star Empire. With the rise of the Romulan Free State, these opportunities were eventually curtailed, but not before the Syndicate gained a significant foothold and corrupting presence in the former neutral zone. Given Starfleet’s hesitance to involve themselves directly in Romulan affairs, the Orions have maintained a relatively easy hold on a number of routes in and out of the former Empire as well as the newly overtaken Klingon territory.