The Orz are — or perhaps "is" — an alien species first encountered by The Captain in the space near where the Androsynth had been known to reside. Despite a notable distaste for the human-derived Androsynth and for the mysterious Arilou, the Orz happily joined with the New Alliance of Free Stars and provided its powerful Nemesis starship designs to aid in the Second War.
Orz appear as gill-breathers who resemble yellow parrotfishes with eyestalks, though it is not known if this is their actual true form. It is likely that Orz come from another dimension, and when asked about their origins, Orz explain that the Arilou are from *above* and that Orz is from *below*. The precise meaning of this explanation is still up to debate, although the Arilou make it clear that Orz is not from QuasiSpace.
There has been some discussion that the Orz as they are seen in normal space are actually a projection of some higher-dimensional being studying our reality. The Orz-entity refers to what is seen of itself in the known dimensions as its *fingers* and explains that it is not like other races who are *many bubbles*. The Orz sometimes refer to themselves in the singular third person, although whether this is another quirk of the Orz's odd speech pattern or a reference to their true essence is unclear.
The Orz are a newcomer to TrueSpace, that appeared suddenly in the vicinity of the Vulpeculae constellation, the adopted homeworlds of the Androsynth. As the Androsynth vanished about the same time Orz arrived, it is reasonable to think that the Orz did something to them, but asking the Orz about the subject infuriates them. It is possible that the Dimensional Fatigue Experiments that were being performed by the Androsynth (and apparently the Taalo before them) may have been what brought the constellation to the Orz's attention.
Just where the Orz resided before arriving in the area of Vulpeculae is unknown. The Orz indicate that they like TrueSpace and even prefer TrueSpace over their origin dimension and are now engaged in the process of fully moving to TrueSpace.
The following is unproven in game and not completely accepted by the community.
Orz is a single being that exists in another dimension. The TrueSpace entities perceived by the other races are projections of this being that give the appearance of individual life forms. They live, they die, they might even breed, but they are only *fingers* of the one entity called Orz.
Orz is in some kind of long term and (mostly) non-violent conflict with the Arilou. The nature and exact purpose of this conflict are unknown. The Arilou are known to be long-term and loyal allies (or at least protectors or mentors) to the Syreen and Humans, and to a lesser extent the Androsynth. They seem to believe that these races have a destiny that makes them very important to the Arilou race. This is not part of the Arilou/Orz conflict however. Even though Orz destroyed the Androsynth, he will readily assist The Captain in battling the Ur-Quan. The destruction of the Androsynth seems to be motivated entirely by their Dimensional Fatigue Experiments. This may have been seen by Orz as a threat, possibly a gateway to whatever dimension Orz inhabits.
It may also be possible that *above* and *below* refer not to where the Arilou and Orz originate, but to when they originate.
Translating Orz Communications
Translating Orz speech is problematic at best. Even the most sophisticated and powerful translators can't fully process its bizarre alien language, having to use many lingual best-fits in conversation. These are marked in text by surrounding the word with asterisks (*).
- *camper* — starfaring or sentient races? an individual or species who is liked by Orz? — "Happy *campers* are the best."
- *frumple* — to become, or the state of being angry or sad or violent — "Do not ask about [the Androsyth]. You make me *frumple*."
- *dance* — combat — "I am *frumple*. It is *dancing*."
- *party* — alliance? conversation? opportunities for *dancing*? If *dance* means combat or battle, then *party* might well mean war. — "Better *parties* in *the middle* for sure!".
- *playground* — Orz gives the coordinates of Delta Vulpeculae as the location of *playground*. The significance of this star system to Orz is unknown, although it is inside the general area that they occupy.
- *sad animal* — one who is disliked by the Orz — "The Kohr-Ah are *sad animals*."
- *above* — where the Arilou come from, QuasiSpace
- *below* — where Orz comes from
- *the middle* — not *above* or *below*, between *above* and *below*?, this dimension (ie, TrueSpace)?
- *fingers* — an "individual" Orz; see *many bubbles*
- *many bubbles* — the numerous distinct individuals of a species, or possibly organic cells — "Orz is not *many bubbles*, Orz is *fingers*."
- *sticky* — unable to move between dimensions.