The Reverse was a period of Orion history, lasting some three centuries from 1003 AD (reference stardate −10/03) to 1301 AD (stardate −7/0101). It marked a period of great decline in Orion society and the contraction of the Orion Colonies. It was closely linked with the Orion Empire and the Dispossession. (FASA RPG - The Orions modules: Book of Common Knowledge, Book of Deep Knowledge)
The golden age of the New Days saw a thousand-year period of great prosperity, cultural growth, and colonial expansion. However, eventually the wave of colonial expansion slowed. Wealth and luxury made sponsors at Rigel increasingly discontent and covetous, and reluctant to fund colonial efforts. Minor disputes over tariffs and trade agreements deteriorated into full-blown corporate warfare, even reaching Rigel. Some Colonies, tired of paying taxes to the Botchok Planetary Congress (BPC) and getting little in return, formally broke off relations and declared their independence. These rebellions had little real effect, however, as the Orion worlds were linked mainly by trade, which continued regardless of politics. Only a few nostalgic idealists begrudged this loss of authority, but they were among the most powerful.
The Reverse, the Three Emperors, and the DispossessionEdit
The BPC was unable to restore order or political power over the Orion Colonies with either harsh laws or military threats, and the ineffectiveness of these measures further weakened their authority. Eventually, desiring more power and extreme force to end the Colonies' disputes, several powerful families on Botchok successfully revolted. On March 21st, 1003 AD (reference stardate −10/0303.21), BPC President Boyor Ignatin—chosen and aided by the rebels—seized dictatorial powers, jailed his opponents, and reorganized Orion government. Later that year, he was crowned Emperor, founding the Orion Empire, and made his Demand for Unity to all the rebellious or seceded Colonies. This marked the historical beginning of the Reverse.
To take the separatists back by force, Boyor launched the Fringe Wars. These only wasted lives and resources and disrupted trade in the core of Orion space, while filtering arms to the poor and otherwise powerless, thus hastening the collapse of Orion society. The Fringe Wars also saw many Grey Orion ruling families on the most distant planets wiped out, beginning the Dispossession.
More Orions turned to piracy and their numbers grew out of control. The breakdown of law and order and the loss of trade made them daring and desperate. Pirates occupied Vab for use as a base while they raided Orion and Klingon worlds without fear. The furthermost colonies were beset by pirates and shunned by peaceable alien races, and could not maintain their old levels of trade. When they fell, the pirates lost their support networks and were isolated. Many pirates returned to Orion space and even took up legitimate work. However, the most diehard of them remained and banded together in a great pirate fleets.
The terrified people of Spike closed their world to all visitors and trade, attacking all who tried to force their way in. It remained a closed world for a thousand years.
The reign of the Three Emperors was marked by assassination, clan warfare, succession struggles, and ignored authority. It formed the peak of the three-century-long Reverse. Finally, Emperor Arnet the Thoughtful implemented a number of reforms after he succeeded the throne on April 30th, 1154 AD (stardate −9/3203.07).
Meanwhile, a civil war at Votannis resulted in the massacre of over 40 million people, including 23.1 million Orions and the genocide of the native Trunes. These were the darkest days of the Reverse. Late in the Reverse, a genocidal war struck the planet B'Morgia. The once-harmonious multiracial civilization was wiped out, leaving only Orion survivors. Similarly, the multiracial civilization of Zchol was decimated in a "Purge", with the rest forced to flee.
In a plan to restore old Orion ways, Arnet abdicated on March 17th, 1288 AD (stardate −8/8803.17), but he went missing before nightfall and his family was rounded up and killed. The BPC reestablished order on Botchok and thereafter ignored the Colonies. Peace slowly returned, and the Orions began to rebuild and restore lost industry and technology.
The wars and massacres of the Reverse left the Orion population drastically reduced: recorded at 57.3 billion on 972 planets in July 1037 AD (stardate −10/3707), it fell to 31.05 billion on 507 worlds in the Orion Registry in January 1301 AD (stardate −7/0101), and still falling. Meanwhile, 90% of Grey Orions were dead, the rest were in hiding or refugees or in captivity.
These turbulent times destroyed Orion wealth and made colonization too expensive and risky. Pirates plagued the furthest Colonies and peaceful aliens avoided them, and they were unable to maintain earlier levels of trade. More Colonies were abandoned than were founded or re-established, and others stopped trading and were left behind in the Outer Dark to manage on their own.
The once-detailed Orion records were mostly lost, and only vague secondhand accounts survived. A great deal of advanced technology available to the Orions was also lost during the Reverse, some of which not even the Federation or the Orions were capable of by the 23rd century. (FASA RPG - The Orions modules: Book of Common Knowledge, Book of Deep Knowledge)