Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known and allied species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. But what about the lesser-known species, and the writers who create characters from those races? In this series, I explore fleet officers from unusual species and the writers behind them.
from Starbase 118 Ops, Katy Orman, 1/4 Orion
How and why did you decide to sim Katy as part Orion?
Partly it’s my nigh-obsessive desire to be different. I knew from the beginning that Katy was going to be mostly human, but the idea of a mixed-race heritage was really sparking my imagination. So I decided to make her 1/4 alien. 1/4 seemed just right; not so alien that it informs everything she does, not so watered-down that it’s meaningless.
Why Orion? Again, I suppose I was looking for a middle ground. Not one of the primary races–I like the idea of going over the same issues from new perspectives, but it’s not what I was looking to do; I wanted to go over less-common issues. And not something so obscure that we know very little about it and I’d basically be making everything up as I went along. I think I ended up with Orion specifically because the idea of turning the oversexualised Orion female stereotype on its ear was appealing to me.
And really, it’s partly just because I like green skin. What can I say? I’m shallow like that.
What canon or non-canon material did you draw upon to create Katy’s background?
I draw heavily from Memory Alpha and Memory Beta as much as I can, and anywhere else I can find scraps of information. I don’t care if it’s originally from Enterprise, from the old cartoon series, or some novel somewhere; I’ll use it.
What unusual or interesting species-based quirks or traits does Katy display?
She’s green. Not *very* green, mind you, on your average day. I like describing her further greenening (that’s a word I just made up) as she blushes, or gets active or warm; anything that increases capillary circulation.
She also has the pheromones, but she takes daily suppressants to keep those down, so I don’t usually bring them into the story. Every once in awhile I’ll have something come up that makes them important, just for fun. She’ll occasionally drop into an Orion language when she doesn’t want to be understood, and she swears to the Thousand Gods sometimes.
Why wouldn’t Katy’s character work if she was a human, a Vulcan, etc?
Truthfully, I think Katy could work as a pure Human. She just wouldn’t be quite as rich in background. Her Orion quirks have allowed me to explore various aspects of conflict with her more fully – inclusion vs. ostracism, extroversion vs. introversion, sexuality vs. shame. It has made her more unique and thusly, more fun. Which seems to me to be the point. 😉
Interested in taking part in this series? Think you or one of your shipmates writes an interesting character from a rarely used species? Contact T @ firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your interview!