The Orion Syndicate ia a criminal organization created by the Orions. It is reputedly headquartered on Rigel VII but wisely kept its overt actions far away, operating primarily in the Alpha Quadrant. It also maintained headquarters on Farius Prime.
The Orion Syndicate was originally a wholly-Orion organization, complete with laws, uniforms and legitimate trade with other worlds. At some point in its history, the infamous killer and saboteur Yoshitoni played a brutal role in the transformation of the Orion Syndicate into a criminal organization.
In the 2330s, the Orion Syndicate was described as a fledgling organization, about which Starfleet Intelligence was still gathering evidence. It had bases on Farius Prime and Ryn III, and was a major distributor of ‘Red Ice’, a powerful and deadly narcotic. They were also believed to have acted as middlemen for arms trading between the Breen Confederacy and the Cardassian Union. During this period, they were in heated competition with a rival crime syndicate called the Asfar Qatala, also based on Farius Prime and trading in red ice. The Syndicate even had agents infiltrating the Asfar Qatala. These affairs were uncovered by Starfleet Captain Rachel Garrett and Commander Samir al-Halak of the USS Enterprise-C in 2336.
Well of Souls portrays the Orion Syndicate as a relatively small upstart organization about which Starfleet Intelligence has limited information. The various fragments put together suggest an Orion mercantile or political organization or state (likely an alliance of businesses and caju) that was defeated by Starfleet, but survived and evolved into a criminal organization. By the late 24th century, membership in the Syndicate included many alien members. It was a subject of mystery to outsiders. Though Orions were commonly assumed to be powerful within the Syndicate, this could not be proven. Some considered it equally likely that the Syndicate’s founders were aliens who chose to use the name for their criminal association, or even took it from the Orion sector or the Orion Constellation. It was not known if Starfleet managed to penetrate its upper ranks or not.
After the Maquis uprising in the late 2360s, the Orion Syndicate-dominated world of Farius Prime became a key link in their supply lines, and the Syndicate actually aided their efforts. However, when the Cardassian Union joined the Dominion in 2373, the Syndicate betrayed the Farius Prime Maquis cells and surrendered them to Jem’Hadar soldiers. This action saved Farius Prime from a Jem’Hadar assault such as other Maquis bases had suffered, and kept that world neutral and independent in the coming Dominion War. The Syndicate worked with the Dominion during the war.
Beginning in 2373, the Dominion War had forced Starfleet to strip its assets from the Rigel system, giving the Orion Syndicate there free reign. They used the opportunity well, and by the war’s end in 2375, they were once again dominant in the Rigel system, with crime, piracy and smuggling on the rise.
During the Gateways Crisis in 2376, the Orion Syndicate bid for the Iconian technology through their operative Malic, who hired Quark to negotiate on their behalf. With Quark’s assistance, the Orion Syndicate put together the best offer for the technology, but withdrew the bid when it was discovered that the persons masquerading as the Iconians were actually the Petraw, who had a limited understanding of how they worked.
In 2378, there was apparently someone in Starfleet – with a rank of least Admiral – who had been transmitting secret technological information to Syndicate. Starfleet Intelligence’s Director of Covert Operations Brenna Covington had Agent Libby Webber investigate Admiral Kenneth Montgomery as a potential suspect; however, Webber found he was innocent (Covington herself had framed Montgomery to stop him uncovering her own schemes). It is unknown if there was such a mole in Starfleet or not, or if there was, whether it was Brenna Covington herself.
In 2380, a Syndicate-run Orion pirate vessel raided Deep Space 5 and stole a half-kiloton of kemocite ore (a key component of highly destructive weapons), killing four Starfleet officers and eleven others in the process. By Stardate 57585, the USS Voyager tracked it down and disabled it after a brief battle. Captain Chakotay ordered it destroyed, refusing rescue attempts.
In 2381, The Empire War erupts starting in Romulan space. The Syndicate was quick to follow behind and laid many inroads in the wake of the destruction. The conquered systems they left behind had little in the way of law or protection. The Syndicate swooped in and put key players into positions of power. By the time the Empire was routed out of these areas, the Syndicate was already deeply entrenched. Even when the Empire left occupying troops behind, the Syndicate slipped in and set up shop right under their noses. Many times it was under the guise of “The Resistance”. In reality it was about selling guns, food, and medical supplies and establishing a strong foothold in the Romulan Empire.
In 2386, The Empire War ended. With the closure of the wormhole and the Empire no longer able to support them, the Black Sun decided to enter peace talks with the Syndicate. They relinquished vast amounts of territory to the Syndicate and established a shaky peace treaty for the remaining areas. This was seen as a major victory for the Syndicate by some and a big mistake by others. In reality, the Syndicate had acquired as much territory from the Empire War as they could handle. The areas they gave to the Black Sun were beyond their capability to control anyway.
The Orion Syndicate operates in all areas of criminal activity, including sports gambling, illegal gambling rackets, loan sharking, extortion, blackmail, smuggling of goods and weapons, capturing and trafficking of slaves. It also trades in secret information, manages net-girls, uses and harbors pirates of various breeds, and employs professional thieves and assassins. It took out more assassination contracts in a year than all other typical assassination clients combined.
An average Orion was as likely to deny the Syndicate even existed as try to sell so-called ‘insider information’ on the organization. Both responses were almost certainly false: members would not break the code of silence, and outsiders knew nothing of worth. The Syndicate had no problem with such falsehoods however, enjoying a confused but threatening reputation.
The Orion Syndicate operated primarily in the Alpha Quadrant and was active on a number of worlds and systems, including Coridan, Corvan II, Dessica II, Farius Prime, the Rigel system, Risa, Turkana IV, Verex III, and possibly the moons of Jupiter in the Sol system. The Orion Syndicate operated or was involved in Gorkon’s Retreat, a pirate haven space station, and the Yoshitoni Institute, a mercenary training school.
By the late 24th century, membership was open to other races, with many alien members from many different worlds. Though it was widely assumed that Orions were powerful in the Syndicate, this was unproven, and it was considered just as likely that the founders were not Orions, but others who chose to use the name for their criminal association, or even that of the Orion sector or the Orion Constellation. It was also unknown if Starfleet ever penetrated its upper ranks. However, in fact, many of the upper ranks were still Orion.
By 2390, The purge of non-Orions within the Syndicate began in September of 2390. It started with the massacre of all but nine Syndicate Shodars. Two of those who were suppose to die escaped and created renegade Syndicate families. The other seven consolidated all the syndicate families under one banner. No one knows who the shodar of shodars is except for the seven shodars. It is believed that a woman has taken over the organization and the move to go public has shocked and terrified many business owners throughout the Alpha and Beta quadrants. Those members of the Syndicate that were in families that lost their Shodar were given a choice. Join one of the seven families or be declared non-sanctus. Non-sanctus status means that the person is free so long as they never pursue another criminal activity again. Breach of this rule results in a kill at will order being issued to all syndicate members for the violator.
In the 22nd century, the Syndicate had a set of laws called the Syndicate Economic Protocols.
The Orion Syndicate had a code of koledru venari – ‘thieves’ honor’ – and its members would rather die than break this code of silence. They would even prefer to commit suicide rather than testify against them. On the other hand, the Syndicate supposedly never killed its own people; however, no one could leave the organization without permission, and they exacted revenge on those who did betray them. Loyalty held the Syndicate together, which extended to family members.
To join the Syndicate, a new recruit had to be ‘witnessed’ by an existing member, in which they vouched for their loyalty and trustworthiness. However, if a recruit proved to be disloyal, both they and their witness would be executed.
There was a steep entrance fee for membership, which was open to any race. All Syndicate members also had to pay a fare (10% or more of all earnings) to the Syndicate or risk punishment. In return, the Syndicate supplied money to families and widows of slain members that they could live comfortably.
The Orion Syndicate had a system of ranks, achievable with a given cost in latinum and the personal witness or recommendation of a higher-ranking Syndicate member. It takes the combined voice of three Shodars to make a Shodar. Each Shodar controls one family within the Syndicate and only 7 Shodars currently exist.
The highest rank a non-Orion may ever become within the Syndicate is Delbaj.
|Rank||Amount you paid the Syndicate||Development Points Cost||Mafia Equivalent||Duties|
|Morl (‘Crewman’)||20 Bars of Latinum||1DP||Enforcer (Piciotto)||Follow orders|
|Lisk (‘Associate’)||100 Bars of Latinum||2DP||Foot Soldier (Sgarrista)||Carry out daily business of his Family. Controls a crew of up to 6 Morls|
|Magren (‘Operator’)||400 Bars of Latinum||4DP||Foot Soldier/Made Man (Sgarrista)||Controls a crew of up to 12 Lisks|
|Delbaj (‘Lieutenant’)||3000 Bars of Latinum||6DP||Lieutenant (Caporegim)||Acts in the same manner as a department head for Starfleet|
|Alasho (‘Director’)||20,000 Bars of Latinum||8DP||Underboss (Capo Bastone)||Equivelent to a ship Captain in Starfleet|
|Shodar (‘Chief’)||1,000,000 Bars of Latinum||10DP||The Boss (Capo Crimini/capo de tutti capi)||Equivelent to an Admiral in Starfleet. The ultimate head of the family.|
Rogues and others without rank working with or for the Syndicate were j’hordak, meaning ‘shadows’, or less politely, ‘hangers-on’. These ranks were also used for crew positions on some Orion pirate ships, though the buy-in was much smaller, usually only 10%.
|FAMILY||BASE OF OPERATION||SHODAR||Pedominant Species|
|Franga Family||Rigel VII||Orion|
|Gorales Family||Gorkon’s Retreat||Bardeck Gorales||Orion|
|Hanza Family||Rigel II||Orion|
|Kim Family||Rigel IV||Orion|
|Lexx Family||Rigel V||Orion|
|Spidrox Family||Rigel XII||Orion|
|Ferangha Family||Lira’s Fortress||Lira|
|Varin Family||Prybella||Nexus Nevari|