Orions have no concept of honor. What is the use of being honest, incorruptible, and true to ideals when survival in business depends on doing the exact opposite? Still, the Orions do have cluros; a code of self-control and restraint that attempts to limit brutal excesses while not really altering behavior. Translated as Ďcoolnessí or Ďcoldí, cluros means keeping oneís head even in the most devastating or infuriating circumstances and, if possible, causing oneís enemies to lose theirs. In fact, most starfaring races use a cold analogy as a metaphor for keeping oneís personal calm: Andorians advise to "Let the heat drop", Tellarites direct the angry to "Chill!", and even Vulcans must "Zero".
By the rules of cluros, one must always speak formally, and levelly to oneís opponents, whether they carry briefcase or blasters. As they are harmless, the disarmed and powerless are always treated with respect and courtesy. One must not forget any details or allow distractions of any sort to interfere with oneís smooth, unruffled demeanor. To lose oneís temper, to shout, scream, or cry, or to use more force than necessary signals a lack of cluros, but the Ruddy Orion who spurns cluros risks losing the respect of his friends, enemies, neutrals, and dependents. Worse, he elevates his opponents.
There can be great nobility in cluros. The shipowner shrugs after a billion credits worth of cargo vanishes without trace. The pirate grins at the enemy guns as his ship lies helpless. The tahedri who calmly buries a son and silently plans the vaporization of his killers. Frequently, cluros masks a battle of wits going on beneath a surface of politeness, and the victor is he who keeps the most hidden while making his opponents reveal more. Orion diplomacy uses much cluros.
The highest goal of cluros is to cause oneís enemies to lose their cool. Being maddeningly polite and restrained in the face of provocation may infuriate a tormentor into losing control, which demonstrates his baseness to all. Lapses of this kind are rare, but attempts to cause it never stop. Cluros is not just a code of conduct; in the hands of the Orions, it is a very effective weapon for winning bloodless battles. It may well be the highest expression of Orion civilization.
Lacking a sense of honor, and revering the keeping of oneís faculties in times of crisis (cluros) , Orions do not seem to have much need for revenge. In practice, Oroin business creates bedlam, wounds feelings, and destroys repuations. Like other victims, Orions too wish to answer insults, whether intentional or not.
What distinguishes Orion revenge, is the concept of cluros ; the coolness of Orion display whle pursuing revenge. They will never reveal injury, or its source because that would alert the intended victim(s) of their impending fate. Orions go to enormous lengths to hide the depth of their loss, grief, or rage, even to the extent of befriending the hated organization or individual. Cluros is an invaluable aid to concelaing bitterness and postponing retribution to the final, sweetest possible moment.
An example of this is an old Orion tale. It is said the story is quite authentic, and the principals real, set during the Orion Dawn, some three thousand years ago. It is entitled "The Tale of Benara":
Lady Katam married the youngest of the three sons of Lord Benara. When Lord Benara parceled out his lands to his sons before retiring, Lady Katam persuaded her husband that he was being slighted while his brothers were plotting against him and laughing behind his back. Outraged, the youngest brother began a bitter war for the succession. The youngest brother was killed when the older sons besieged his estate, and the middle brother then took the youngestís possessions: estates, palaces, lands, and Lady Katam as his consort. Although he intended to share his late brotherís estates equally with the eldest brother, Lady Katam told her newest husband that the possessions of her late husband were his by right of conquest, and that the eldest brother would take them if he demonstrated any weakness.
At the same time, Lady Katam was secretly visiting the eldest brother, and informing him of the middle brotherís intrigues to keep their late brotherís lands. In grim despair, the eldest brother built up his armies and gathered his own allies to forestall any overt move.
For five years, the brothers armed and held guarded talks, but did not come to any agreement. The disputed lands were neglected, and their productivity dropped. Other powerful families gathered to one side or the other, or sometimes both, hoping to improve their own fortunes, regardless of the outcome of the looming conflict. Finally, at their Fatherís abandoned palace, the brothers agreed to meet and decide an equitable agreement between them. Both, unknown to the other, brought their own troops and those of their closest allies. Then, lured out of the palace by a ruse, the middle brother rode into a trap set by his eldest brotherís allies, and was slain. His retainers raised the alarm, and all the armies rose up and fought. Many families seized land belonging to House Benara. Soon the palace was in flames, and the battle filled the land from horizon to horizon. The eldest brother and his retinue, clad in body armor, and with lasers drawn, confronted Lady Katam in her chambers where she was kneeling, unarmed.
She told them that it had been 20 years since her father had been murdered by old Lord Benara of late memory, and that her fatherís lands and family-her lands and family, had been scattered to Benaraís retainers. She had sworn she would not die until she had brought House Benara to its end. "It doesnít matter what you do to me.", she said, and simply continued to kneel.
The Eldest Son of House Benara holstered his laser, and grasped an ancient sword hanging decoratively on a wall, and beheaded Lady Katam in one blow. Then, he and his retainers departed the burning palace to rejoin the battle. The remaining son of House Benara would fall in combat before the day was through, and that was the end of House Benara.
Even the rigidly logical Vulcans are no more efficient and practical than Orions. Everything gained must be for a purpose: enrichment, the sake of a tahedrin or rhadamanen, or revenge. The idea that someone may work and sacrifice to produce nothing at all goes directly against Orion thinking. It is an almost incomprehensible concept-but not an unknown one.
"Spite" has no one-word equivalent in the Orion language. Orions can readily conceive, however, of a type of revenge that would require someone to work toward a reward they did not really want in order to deceive an enemy into doing something they did not want to do. Such a payoff is clear.
Of course, it is easy for an Orion to rationalize doing something to drive his rivals and competitors crazy trying to figure out what he is up to. It might even deprive them of a profit, a very sweet possibility. It is this possibility that allows many Orions to do such a contrary thing. Spite has a kind of giddy attraction to itself for that reason, being the absolutely last possible reason any Orion could have for doing anything. Also, it is possible for an Orion to lead another to believe that he is doing something for nothing, but all the while misleading the other in order to rob him blind, to serve his masters, to wreak vengeance on him, or simply to unnerve him and drive him crazy.
Sometimes, for the Orions, explaining spite, is spite.