Orion slave girls, also known as Orion animal women, or in the Orion language, lodubyaln (literally 'life-contractors') were the famous beautiful and alluring entertainment slaves of Orion society. It was said that their charms could not be resisted. They were the subject of great mystery and a lot of imaginative speculation.
Though sometimes called 'animal women' for their reputed capacity for violence and savagery, they were not an animalistic sub-race of the Orion species. Nor were they genetically or surgically altered in any way, or doped with Venus drugs. They were in fact ordinary Orion women trained since childhood to serve as courtesans and entertainers.
However, not all female Orion slaves were lodubyaln. Most performed mundane household chores, simple industrial or manufacturing tasks, or worked as carers. The lodubyaln were a small minority, often kept in sheltered luxury and secure secrecy, rarely seen by non-Orions. Though they technically laid at the very bottom of the Orion social scale, with no possessions or freedoms, they were also among the high elite of Orion slaves, seen as trusted companions and considered one of the pillars of their civilization.
Standards of beauty in Orion culture were not as polished as in most Federation races. Orion slave women were seen by others as almost brutally sensual, even coarse. Far from a limitation, their barbaric image even amongst their own people only added to their appeal. Typically, they wore skimpy costumes and were laden with jewellery, walked around barefoot with hair loose and unkempt, while their movements, body language and scent spoke of passion and mesmerising attractiveness. (FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
They were notorious for their intense ability to arouse. This ability was in fact a biological function of Orion women who had extremely powerful pheromones which not only made them hard to resist but sometimes gave them power over their owners. (TOS episode: "The Cage"; ENT episodes: "Borderland", "Bound")
Orion slave girls began their training at age five, when they were placed in the care of a senior or retired lodubyal or Lodubyal Ot (a mistress of lodubyaln). Most were the products of special training houses dedicated to the skills of the lodubyal, called fesin, literally translated as "hutches", but also known as crèches. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge; TNG novel: The Best and the Brightest)
More than simple sex slaves, lodubyaln were more akin to professional courtesans or the geisha of Earth's Japan. Their purpose was to serve as entertainment and distraction, but also to be a comforting ear and a servant of perfect trust and loyalty. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
They were extensively trained in a range of entertainment forms, and could serve as singers, musicians, artists, conversationalists, story-tellers, and most famously, as dancers. They were also good at socializing, gaming and gambling. Following on from their normal duties, they could also potentially be good teachers, diplomats and negotiators, and have skills in trading and appraisal. They could also pick up more criminal skills, and learn to defend themselves, in either unarmed combat or with a knife. However, they were quite limited in what else they could learn. Poor education led to the "animal woman" myth. (FASA RPG modules: Cadet's Orientation Sourcebook, The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
The function of slave women in Orion society was very utilitarian but quite ambiguous. The appearance of one at an Orion banquet was 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.
The primary purpose of the lodubyaln was to please their contractor-holders, or etadubran. They also had to keep themselves attractive and healthy, perform and entertained when required, and never to give any indication that they might have a life or any interests beyond this. They had to give unfailing love, loyalty and devotion to their contract-holders, regardless of any personal feelings, which usually went against Orion instincts for selfish gain. They were also forbidden from revealing any secrets of their masters. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
To defend themselves in public, slave girls were trained in unarmed and knife combat skills, and often concealed small knives and other blades, which could be coated with a poison or drug. They also had long fingernails like claws, which were handy in a brawl. (FASA RPG module: Cadet's Orientation Sourcebook)
In exchange for her devotion and pleasure, a lodubyal was provided with all necessities of life and many additional luxuries and indulgences. Though not meant to have a single possession or any wealth, not even her jewelry, in practice she could accumulate a stash of money, jewels, precious metals and other small valuables, given by her clients, suitors and generous masters, or gained through friends and connections. This formed a nest egg with which she could retire; the earnings were usually sufficient. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
Retirement and freedom
Lodubyaln had little choice about leaving their jobs, but after 21 years of service, at age 35, they were permitted to purchase their contract with their saved tips and side-earnings at current market rates. Though they were required to remain in service until the end of the term (or pay a 25% early withdrawal penalty), generous and satisfied contract-holders could sell or even dissolve the contract early. A few lodubyal stayed on until age 40, and rarely went past 50 (where contracts couldn't depreciate any further).
After this, a retired lodubyal had three choices: to get married and become a mother, to become a mistress and trainer to other lodubyaln, or change careers completely. This choice was completely voluntary, and there were no restrictions.
Some spent their working life looking for a suitable potential husband to purchase their contract and make them their wife. A married lodubyal usually settled peacefully into a domestic life as a wife and mother, though her husband would remain in control in the patriarchal Orion society.
A retired lodubyal could also become a Lodubyal Ot, an executive or mistress in charge of a group of younger Orion slave girls, or become a teacher or supervisor at a fesin, training the next generation in her arts. Though the life-style was much the same, the work was largely freelance, with resignation permitted after a year, and increased earnings.
Alternatively, they could switch careers into a completely different field. There were no restrictions in this, whatever their history, and their status became that of any normal Orion female. An ex-lodubyal with sufficient drive could potentially become a businesswoman or even a starship captain. Some took what they learned from their masters and used that knowledge to make themselves wealthy.
Retired lodubyaln who changed careers were not hindered by their former slavery, and actually gained a mystique for their skills and all that they had seen and heard and could never speak of. It was not unusual for a previous master to fear her appearance in a position of influence, and a few would risk a great deal to eliminate her and her potential for danger. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
In the 23rd century, the T'Prar Foundation worked to help freed Orion slave girls. In 2269, they organized for twenty-six slave girls to be transported to a reorientation village in the Delta Triciatu system. It was operated by Deltans, who were immune to their pheromones. (TOS novel: Prime Directive)
Despite their high status and influence, the life of a slave girl was demanding, difficult and usually demeaning. Unlike regular Orion slaves, they tended to resent their roles and longed for freedom, control over their lives and more to live for. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
In the mirror universe, one evening with an Orion slave girl was worth 5000 dejebbits, while a one-year lease cost 1,250,000 and a full purchase cost 5,000,000. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
- This high price probably has something to with the illegality of the slave trade.
Orion slave dealers marketed the slave women as being utterly irresistible, a hype that affected the reputations of other Orion women (though they were in general quite attractive). (Last Unicorn RPG module: Star Trek: The Original Series Core Game Book)
History and appearances
A research team consisting of Captain James T. Kirk, Commander Spock, and Lieutenant Ted Erickson of Starfleet, and historians Grey and Loom Aleek-Om, journeyed through the Guardian of Forever on the Time Planet in 2269, and visited the ancient and barbaric early Empire of Orion. Their last visit was to a low-quality inn in a bazaar, near an auction of Orion slave girls. (TAS novelization: Yesteryear)
Orion slave girls well known to other races by the mid-22nd century: Arik Soong knew of them by the early 2140s (ENT episode: "Borderland"), Zoumas claimed he once spent two hours with a slave girl (ENT episode: "Canamar"), and Kago-Darr was expected to waste his money on them in 2153. (ENT episode: "Bounty") The crew of the Earth starship Enterprise (NX-01) discovered Orion slave girls when they visited the Orion Syndicate's Verex III processing station in 2154. (ENT episode: "Borderland") Shortly after, Harrad-Sar gave Navaar, D'Nesh, and Maras to Captain Jonathan Archer, so they could use their pheromones to take control and capture the ship for him. He later told Archer that Orion women were actually in charge of the men.. (ENT episode: "Bound")
The Orion slave trade within the Federation was formally banned with the passing of the First Amendment to the Articles of Federation on reference stardate 2/0105.01 (c. 2258). To maintain trade, the Botchok Planetary Congress similarly banned the trade within the Orion Colonies. This, of course, included the sale of Orion slave girls. However, without enforcement of the law in Orion space, it was essentially a meaningless gesture. The slave trade continued in secret). (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge
In the mirror universe in the mid-2260s (some time before stardate 1299.7), Commander James Kirk of the Imperial Starfleet vessel ISS Enterprise took possession of three Orion slave girls from the trader Juraav to smuggle in the components of the Tantalus field device. (IDW comics: "Mirror Images, Issue 1", "Mirror Images, Issue 2")
By 2269, the Orion slave trade was thought to be extinct (but was shown not to be), at least within the Federation (TOS novel: Prime Directive), after Starfleet wiped out the trade in slave girls inside its borders. However, this allowed Orion women to join their men in crime and piracy instead. (Last Unicorn RPG module: Star Trek: The Next Generation Core Game Book) Meanwhile, the T'Prar Foundation worked to help freed slave girls, with a Deltan-operated reorientation village in the Delta Triciatu system. (TOS novel: Prime Directive) The transport of Orion slave girls outside the neutral Orion worlds remained prohibited; consequently, few Federation or Starfleet personnel at this time had actually seen one. (FASA RPG module: Cadet's Orientation Sourcebook) Despite the ban, rumors and reports in the late 23rd century claimed that Orion slave girls were still being kept even within the Federation, such as by rich industrialists on the Tellarite colony of Blackart. (FASA RPG module: The Federation)
Nog's erotic action figure collection included an Orion slave girl. When he was forced to feed the collection to a group of Horta in 2370 he opted not to sacrifice his slave girl. (DS9 novel: Devil in the Sky)
Quark had always wanted a slave girl to work in his bar on Deep Space 9, as early as 2371. In 2372, he had a group of Moborites purchase several slave women on his behalf, with complex negotiations and several bent Orion regulations. He brought them into the Federation legally, on the pretext of freeing them, while planning to offer them jobs as dabo girls in his bar. However, the slave women came from a wealthy Orion family, rivals of Calculanthra, which would earn his enmity. (DS9 novel: Wrath of the Prophets)
- As Quark didn't obtain an Orion slave girl until Treir in 2376, it seems likely that this plan was unsuccessful.
By 2373, few could afford the high cost and illegality of an Orion slave girl. This made holoprograms a common alternative (TNG novel: Behind Enemy Lines), with Orion slave girls found in a number of erotic holosuite programs. (DS9 episodes: "The Begotten", "In the Pale Moonlight") Skrain Dukat asked for an Orion slave girl and a bottle of kanar while he was held prisoner by Starfleet in 2374. (DS9 episode: "Waltz")