The Orions have long had a rather dubious reputation in this section of the galaxy. Occupying a region of space adjacent to the Klingon Empire, the Orions are slave traders who attack many vessels which enter the area. They are most active in the Borderland, an area which is between the Orions and the Klingon Empire. The captives are generally taken to a processing station where they are fitted with a neurolytic restraint to dissuade any rebellion and make escape impossible. In 2154 two Orion vessels attacked the NX-01, seizing nine crewmembers. Fortunately Captain Archer was able to track down the processing centre and find a way to disable the restraints and recover his crew. 
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As well as capturing aliens, Orions also have a reputation for selling their own women into slavery - something the women are said to actually enjoy. In actual fact, Starfleet discovered in 2154 that it is the women who are the rulers of the Orion Syndicate and that the whole idea of their being slaves was an elaborate masquerade intended to allow them to infiltrate alien ships.  Orion females are known for their extreme attractiveness and appetites, something which makes them highly desired as slaves to a certain brand of clientele.  Their bodies produce an extremely strong version of pheromones which can cause males of many different species to become extremely infatuated with them, to the point of overwhelming all logic and judgement. Alien females are generally made listless and tired by the same pheromone, thus helping to eliminate the competition.  The females tend to be approximately the same size as Human women , but Orion males tend to be much larger and far stronger than most Humanoids. 
In the 24th century the Orion Syndicate is responsible for a great deal of criminal activity on alien worlds, often operating through non-Orion operatives. 
In the mirror universe, the Orions were one of the races subjugated by the Terran Empire during the first century after it achieved starflight. Orion females served aboard Terran warships.