As a humanoid species, Orions greatly resemble Homo sapiens . Males average 1.7 meters in height, and weigh around 70 kilograms, while females average 1.5 meters in height and with approximately 60 kilograms. They live approximately 150 standard years.
The Orions’ distinctive difference is their colors. Constituting about three-fifths of the Orion population, Ruddy Orions have skin tones ranging from ruddy orange and yellow to Terran caucasian or red-brown. Their skin is sensitive to strong sunlight (such as that from Rigel), which can deepen their color or cause an unsightly purple burn. Ruddy eye colors range from yellow to sea-blue, violet, or occasionally black. Ruddy Orions are also naturally hairless, but wigs and various hairpieces are often worn by Ruddies as status symbols. The more highly-placed the Ruddy Orion, the more ornate the wig, including encrusted jewels. Ruddy wig fashions are constantly changing, and new colors and trends often turn up on Orion worlds-some rather startling. Ruddy Orions tend to be slender, and some can be quite delicate. The fat Ruddy is a rarity. By Human standards, their proportions and features are pleasing, even beautiful. Judging by physical standards, it is perhaps easy to see how Ruddies claim their racial (and socio-economic) superiority.
Green Orions often seem coarse compared to Ruddy Orions. Green Orions skin tones range from grass-green to deep pine, and their coloration deepens nicely in strong sunlight. Their eye colors are not as varied as Ruddies, with black being most common, and lighter shades of green making up the remaining variety. Some Greens (referred to as ‘erratics’) have very different eye colors: blue, brown, gold, yellow, silver, and even pink. Physically, Green Orions tend to have powerful and fleshy builds. Most are as tall as Ruddies, but they are generally more muscular as a result of manual labor, and are also apt to be more obese than slender. Greens differ from Ruddies in two very important ways; first Green Orions tend to be very hairy, though baldness may occur in older adulthood. Green Orions generally have thick black hair with metallic green highlights. Body hair is also common among both males and females, and is considered a mark of distinction among Green Orions. Green Orions for the most part, hold the ‘smoothness’ of Ruddies in contempt. Ruddies for their part, consider body hair disgusting, and no subject for polite company. Secondly, Green Orions tend to smell. Although uninformed Ruddies and other non-Orions believe this is the result of insufficient hygiene, the scent of Green Orion is a natural function. Nonetheless, Green Orions under employment or other servitude to Ruddies are usually directed to shave themselves as part of their service. Green Orion skin is noticeably oilier and shinier than that of Ruddies. The scent is not unpleasant to humanoid races, but can prove irritable to canine or feline races, or other races with strong oilfactory abilities. The scent is unnoticeable to humanoids after about five minutes. Pleasant or not, the scent is definitely not innocuous. It is heavily laden with pheromones, or chemical agents that affect the subconscious of most humanoid races. The effect is comforting, even soothing. Ten minutes among any sizable group of Greens drains tension, and even proves tranquilizing upon the recipient. This applies with equal effect should the group of Greens be feeling fear, anger, or desire, which alters the scent. While this pheromonal scent does not compel bystanders to share a particular mood, it does make them susceptible to it.
Grey Orions are a special case when discussing the various Orion races. Grey Orions are a small third subrace, constituting no more than 1-3% of the population of any given Orion world or colony. Only in the past 25 years, since Orion culture opened to the possibility of joining the Federation has the existence of Grey Orions come into common knowledge.
For nearly a thousand years, after the Orion Reverse unto present times the Grey Orions were relegated into slavery by both the Ruddies and Greens. Once Orion society began to decay, and collapse into what is historically referred to as the Reverse, Grey Orions, as masters of the Orion military, government, and technology were unable to produce any solutions, and were cast from their halls of power by the Ruddies, with whom they shared power, and Green Orions who were predominantly the soldiers and workers, and willing to blame societal collapse upon those who failed to lead the Orion peoples-the Grey Orions. For their part, Ruddies and Greens understood Grey Orions could not be completely disposed of because of the technological knowledge they possessed. Ruddies, as new masters of Orion society, realized that Grey Orions had to be made dependent on their new masters, in order to ensure their subjugation. To this end, a virulent mutating virus was introduced to the remaining Greys that survived the pogrom against them. This virus, still not fully understood by Federation medical science, produced random mutations from generation to generation, causing a wide variety of ailments, creating a medical dependency by the Greys upon their masters and owners. Grey Orions are completely hairless, as Ruddies are. Skin tones range from light charcoal, to ebony. Eye colors tend toward some shade of blue, violet, pink, or an occasional silver. Due to extended exposure to the mutating virus (whose name has since been forgotten by Orions) all Greys have some medical ailment. These ailments range from the serious; one or multiple missing or deformed limbs and blindness, cystic fibrosis, neutrofibromatosis, to the relatively benign; various psychological problems such as manic depressioin, anxiety, narcolepsy, and paranoia, nearsightness, and farsightedness. This naturally affects the physical appearance of Grey Orions. Assuming an individual has all limbs and stands relatively erect, average height is 1 meter for both males and females.
After the Orion government freed Grey Orions from slavery, ten years before joining the Federation, both Orion and Federation scientists have been searching for those precious few Grey Orions who were fortunate enough to escape the genetic lottery created by their mutating virus, to escape any genetic abnormalities, in the hope of having a nearly uncorrupted case study in order to determine a baseline for Grey Orion anatomy and biochemistry. Once this is done, it is believed proper study of the mutating virus may begin and a treatment found. Curiously enough, the response from Grey Orions to such overtures range from polite refusal of anything but the most necessary care provided by Federation medical teams, to cold silence to such overtures from the existing Orion government and their colonies.
Grey Orions have also migrated from the interior of Orion space, to its exterior or well inside Federation space. If Grey Orions remain in Orion space, they tend to inhabit various failed colony worlds, and associate only with non-Orions or other Greys. The relative seclusion Grey Orions have chosen has led to speculation on the part of Federation and Orion scientists that perhaps the Greys are either anticipating their demise, or on the verge of curing future generations, if not the existing generations. Either way, time will bear out such assertions.