The Orions are a humanoid species originating from the planet Orion.

Orions were known for their distinctive green or blue skin, which is due to the presence of chlorophyll, an evolutionary adaptation to Orion's blue-white sun which allowed them to absorb ultraviolet radiation, keeping them relatively immune to its harmful effects and somewhat resistant to radiation in general. It also provided supplemental source of energy - exposure to UV will have much the same effect on Orions as strong coffee does on most humans. Orion males were typically bald and, on average, taller and more muscular than the average Human male. Orion females were very animalistic in nature, known for their extreme carnal appetites and their innate skill of seduction. The Human male could rarely resist the alluring dance of an Orion female.

It should be noted that few outsiders can say they understand Orions or know the truth about them, and sources of information on them tend to disagree. This is due in part to the fact that Orion society is both diverse, stretching from the worlds of their home system to colonies in both Klingon and Federation space, and adaptable, having during their long history frequently dealt with invaders by absorbing and assimilating those who tried to conquer them. Further, Orions feel no need to clear up misconceptions about them. They enjoy puzzles, contradictions and paradoxes, and like to sow confusion among outsiders, often misleading both each other and non-Orions about their true motives. To them, knowledge is power, and confusion and misconception a weapon.

A prime example of this is the mystery and speculation surrounding Orion women, especially 'Orion slave girls'. This is due to the fact that Orion women are capable of producing highly potent pheromones that accelerate the metabolisms of males of many species, increasing adrenaline levels, inducing arousal, aggression and delusion, and generally making a male highly suggestible to the Orion woman who produces it.

This ability combined with their sexual appetites lead to beliefs about them ranging from "animal women" ruled by their base instincts, to brainwashed or drug-altered sex slaves, to the idea that Orion males were slaves to the females. The later idea resulted from a ruse early in the contact between Orions and humans, but was used for decades by male Orion merchant and pirate crews to plead for clemency when they ran afoul of Federation ships. Like most Orion deceptions, it did contain a seed of truth: although Orion females are sold on the Orion slave market, once sold to a male, the Orion slave girls often use their unique physiology to their advantage; not long after, the "owner" males begin taking direction from their "slave" females. The pheromones' effects are cumulative, so the longer exposed, the more pronounced the results. On the other hand, not all males are susceptible. Denobulan males only find their sleep cycles interrupted by them and Vulcans are immune to effects of Orion pheromones.

Another misconception arises from the fact that the popular image of Orion slave girls is based on lodubyaln (literally 'life-contractors'), the famously beautiful and alluring entertainment slaves of Orion society. In fact, the lodubyaln are a small minority, trained since childhood to serve as courtesans and entertainers, much like the geisha of Earth's ancient Japan. They are notorious for their intense ability to arouse and the appearance of one at an Orion banquet is a powerful distraction but a high compliment to a non-Orion guest, who’d be seen as capable of resisting their charms while still enjoying them. A host could then test their guests' willpower and self-control. Between strong drink, exotic food and aromas, and the Orion woman's powerful pheromones, a guest would begin suffer some degree of neuro-intoxication, becoming more suggestible, forgetful and pliable—a ripe opportunity for making a deal.

Customs and Society

The family is the basis for all Orion society, their oldest and most resilient form of organization. The heads of clans are the great families, or caju, and they loosely organize Orion society. Each caj functions as a merchant house, operating primarily around trade but also managing Orion governments and various aspects of their civil life. The caju take care of their own. Hierarchy in the family or clan is determined mostly by seniority and gender, but ability is also a key factor. A high ideal among Orions is to become so successful that they can care for others; this manifests in owning slaves, starting a family, founding a colony, and in a wealthy corporation taking good care of its employees. It is a mark of ostentation that one's people were well cared for; the better they live, the better one looks. Such care and responsibility also earn loyalty, respect and trust.

Orion customs and traditions encourage group loyalty and mutual protection. However, the strength of their loyalty is according to the responsibility and care the object of it takes for them, the size of the group, and the understanding its members have for one another. Greatest of all is one’s own family, then close friends. Orions believe that true friends can never be bought, and in a society where engaging in sex is as casual an activity as having a drink together, a friend is much more important than a lover (although the two are seldom mutually exclusive). Last on the loyalty spectrum is government, where loyalty and responsibility are both nearly nonexistent. Indeed Orions view their politicians with particular distrust and many consider their own central government nothing more than an elaborate hoax - something to distract the other galactic powers.

Whatever the group or their loyalty, wearing uniforms and badges is not common. Orions do not ask for another's affiliation, and if they are asked feel no compulsion to reveal it. Orions rarely reveal even their family names.

For more information regarding the Orions, check out Memory Alpha - Orion.