Orions were a humanoid species. Many had green skin.
Among the Orions was a sub-caste with animalistic tendencies, who were larger, hairier, less intelligent but more perceptive than average, and also possessed narcotic pheromones. This was thought to be due to a recessive gene, as two normal parents could produce an animalistic child. Although it was common for them to be mistreated, the birth of such a savage child was still considered a cause for celebration. In fact, the birth of a savage child was viewed as a blessing from an Orion deity known only as Q. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
- In general, mirror Orions should, of course, have similar biology to the standard universe Orions, though Through a Glass, Darkly implies that only animalistic Orions possess the powerful pheromones.
Although the Orions claimed to have originated from Rigel VII, this planet was already home to the Kaylar and it was very rare for two sentient species to evolve on the same planet. Some speculated that the Orions either came from Rigel VIII or Rigel II. Whichever the case, their origins remained a mystery to most outsiders. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
After being conquered by the Terran Empire, some Orions joined a coalition of rebels in an uprising against it. An attack on Earth in 2155 was aborted following the arrival of the USS Defiant. However, the rebellion continued, with Commander Navaar being a noted Orion rebel leader who decimated a Terran outpost and later sat in judgment of Empress Sato I. (Glass Empires novel: Age of the Empress)
In the mid-2260s (some time before stardate 1299.7), Commander James Kirk of the Imperial Starfleet vessel ISS Enterprise secretly had the components of the Tantalus field transferred from the Buchanan to a Maraar-class Orion trading vessel. This ship later rendezvoused with the Enterprise to trade contraband dilithium for Starfleet phaser rifles. Kirk also took possession of three Orion slave girls and the smuggled components from the trader Juraav, but sabotaged one of the rifles to destroy the Orion ship once the transaction was complete. (IDW comics: "Mirror Images, Issue 1", "Mirror Images, Issue 2")
In 2369, the Orion Empire was firmly ruled by Intendant Varinna, also head of the Orion Syndicate. She secretly gave Kira Nerys the Orion vote for her as Overseer, in exchange for valuable concessions for the Syndicate, while an aide told Dukat the Syndicate would support him. The Orions also had a lucrative shipping agreement with Betazed, whose fees gave the Orions a security priority on shipments to the Romulan frontlines, though these were cancelled when Kira proposed a unified system of shipping taxes. (ST novel: Dark Passions)
- It should be noted that the above sources come from separate and possibly conflicting mirror universe continuities.
Among the Orion population, about 10% actively worshiped Q. Those who did were members of the Orion Cabal, and formed a murderous cult that engaged in crime, blood sacrifice and terrorism. Assassins of Q were their elite killers (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly).
The Orions seemed to possess a caste system, with high-caste Orions being favored to become Assassins of Q, and a special sub-caste formed by the animalistic breed.
Apart from the Orion Cabal, another component of Orion society was the Procurer's Guild, which traded in Orion slave girls of the animalistic caste. A version of the Orion Syndicate also existed, and competed with the Ferengi.
However, the vast majority of Orions were just ordinary citizens who were uninvolved with either these groups, though most appreciated the fear that the Cabal instilled in the Terrans. A few acted as independent criminals or worked with the Cabal.
During the days of the Imperial Starfleet, Orion crew and slaves were popular choices for the position of Captain's Mate.
The Orions ran a stock market, which was considered a strange institution in the mirror universe. A few Terran-owned companies were listed here, but no really important corporations. The dejebbit was an Orion currency. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)