Eye Colour: Yellow and Green, have a nictitating membrane protecting the eyes from full sunlight.
Hair Colour: No hair
Height: 7' average
Weight: 320 pounds average
Blood Colour: Unknown
Skin Colour: Green
Description: They have small tails that are in the process of de-evolving, and stand upright on two legs, though are slightly hunched over when they walk. Gorn are a cold-blooded, reptilian species with green, leathery skin and an average height of approximately two meters. They tend to be stronger than most humanoids.
Their ears are simple holes on the sides of their skulls. Their mouths boast an impressive array of sharp carnivorous teeth, and their hands and feet have vicious claws. They have a size and bite radius similar to the now-extinct velociraptors of ancient Earth. Humans may tend to underestimate Gorn because of an opinion that reptiles are somehow less evolved than mammals. This would be unwise; the Gorn are at least as intelligent as humans.
Like most cold-blooded lifeforms, the Gorn are known to prefer warm temperatures.
The Gorn are a reptilian race from planets with greater gravity than Terra and with a harsher climate, which perhaps accounts for their greater endurance. Though battle is not the overwhelming preoccupation that it is for Klingons and Romulans, the Gorn prize physical strength and endurance over intellect. Gorn individuals and Gorn society as a whole are not given to subtlety, and thus they do not attempt to be charismatic, preferring to persuade by physical domination. They consider psionics a fidgety and unworthy dicipline, and do not persue such studies. Even Gorn engineering is of the 'push hard till it moves' variety.
The Gorn are a cold-blooded reptilian race native to the Ghdar system. In reality, the Gorn are actually three separate sub-species with many genetic similarities and each hailing from one of the three habitable planets in the inner zone of the Ghdar system. It should be noted, though, that the three species each have distinctive traits due to evolutionary differences from the differing climates of their home worlds.
Being a class N planet, Ghdar I is covered with 98% water in the form of low lying marshes, bogs, and swamps. The Gorn native to this world tend to be taller and leaner than their other cousins, with smooth dark green scales. Unlike their kin, these Gorn still possess a fully developed tail that is usable as both a natural weapon and a means to propel them through the shallow bogs much in the same way an alligator swims. Most of the Gorn of this species are less inclined to all out conflict and generally assume the roles of Scientists, Engineers, and Medical.
Ghdar II is a class M temperate planet much like Earth, with definitive hot and cold seasons, but with a much higher gravity. They have bright green scales, no tails, and a strong powerful build. The Gorn from this world are the most often encountered, as their outgoing attitude and wander lust makes them the perfect choice to fill the ranks of naval personnel. Equally as intelligent as their Ghdar I brethren, these Gorn value tactics and strategy, which makes them best suited for command roles within the navy.
The class M desert world of Ghdar III is home to the least intelligent of the Gorn species, typically filling the role of Marines and general laborers. They are the shortest of the Gorn species, being only slightly taller than the average human. Their scales are a deep ruddy brown or tan, covered in spines and armor that both protects them and regulates the intense heat of their environment. They are also the strongest of the Gorn physically, but commands given to them must be kept simple and direct as their low intelligence can lead to mishaps. Nevertheless, their loyalty to their commanders is absolute.
Females tend to be slightly smaller than males, with less bulk and a more streamlined physique. During the "Brood Fever" (see below) the females are also far more aggressive and dangerous than their male counterparts.
Since the differing Gorn species are all 95% genetically identical, cross-breeding is possible, but the traits of the mother tend to overrule the traits of the father in the hybrid offspring.
Being reptilian, Gorn are an egg-laying species. A female Gorn is able to lay between one and five eggs after each mating. While tending her eggs, the female suffers what is known as "Brood Fever" that lasts until the eggs hatch. During this time, the female's maternal and protective instincts overrule conscious thought and she is prone to attack anyone that approaches her nest with the exception of her mate or a blood relative. The male Gorn in a mated pair, or a family member, is the only one able to care for the female during these times. As such, it is not uncommon for both parents to be granted a leave of absence from their given occupations when the female is expecting to nest until such a time as the children hatch and the fever subsides.
All three species of Gorn are resilient to damage. They are not indestructible by any means, but a phaser on low stun would hardly be felt. To actually stun a Gorn with Federation issue phasers would require multiple shots on high Stun, as the first shot would only serve to make the Gorn mad. A phaser set to kill has no guarantee of actually being fatal. Only a phaser at its highest setting is guaranteed to kill a Gorn with one hit, as he would be vaporized. Non-critical damage to a Gorn regenerates quickly. A severed arm or leg would regrow within a months time. Broken bones heal naturally within a week. Internal injuries heal quickly depending upon the severity. Burns, on the other hand, are far more serious for a Gorn. Burnt flesh takes far longer to heal than it does for other races and infection is almost guaranteed to set in, which could cause even minor burns to be fatal if not promptly treated.
On average, adult Gorn shed their skin every six months. Both shortly before and after shedding, the Gorn's skin is very sensitive and itchy, leading to them being very irritable. As such, Gorn generally prefer to go through shedding alone.
Typical Gorn lifespan is 275 standard years.
Mentally, Gorn are a highly pragmatic species. Though sometimes viewed as being dull witted due to their reptilian physiology, they are anything but. Gorn are decisive, calculating, and curious. They are slow to make friends, due to their long lifespans, but gaining the loyalty of a Gorn means that the Gorn in question would follow and guard his or her friend until death unless given suitable reason to do otherwise.
Gorn technology is at a similar level to the Federation. Their ships are about as fast as Starfleet vessels thanks to shared technology. Gorn ships use disruptors. Gorn infantry units possess powerful disruptors, capable of completely disintegrating targets at ranges of around a kilometer. Sensor technology is slightly less effective than that of the Federation. They have recently begun developing their own cloaking devices. Until this point they had only the cloaking devices that they took off captured or destroyed Romulan ships.
They have had Warp Drive for as long as humans, but have been using particle weapons for only about half that time. They still use melee weapons and have a fondness for explosives and projectiles.
Gorn technology is on par with that of the Federation, though the Gorn are less worried about how Technology is achieved. Many Gorn advances are the result of capture of early Federation, Klingon, or Romulan vessels. In the case of the Federation, though, the vessels and crew are almost always returned unharmed. Most believe Gorn engineering to use a 'push hard till it moves' style. While this is more or less accurate, the Gorn have made this method into an artform. It's not unusual for a Gorn vessel to be equipped with multiple warp cores (2 is the most common), but the extra power created is always used in reasonable manners to prevent the ships from tearing themselves apart.
Gorn vessels are equipped with phasers similar to Federation vessels, but instead of Photon Torpedos, Gorn ships come equipped with Plasma Torpedos.
The Plasma torpedo begins life as a large slug of duranium alloy, though it can be dopped with intentional impurities to achieve a desired effect. The slug is fitted with a high power shield generator and homing warhead to direct the weapon at its desired target. When loaded, the slug is super-heated until the point that it explodes into pure energy. The plasma is contained with the warhead containment shield, holding it in a sort of ball shape. Activating a plasma torpedo is costly and energy intensive, making them a low-use weapon, but the results are well worth the trouble, as a Type-R Plasma torpedo can do devastating damage to an enemy vessel. Plasma Torpedos have a short range, and lose power as they travel. At close range, they seek out and home in on their targets.
Enveloping Plasma Torpedo
A Plasma Torpedo that has been properly doped and the energy level altered can be set to envelope the enemy vessel and cause damage to all shields simultaneously. Due to the nature of shield harmonics, though, the plasma energy travels along the enemy shields and gathers at the weakest one, causing the most damage there. Should a shield be down, the energy will leak through and cause internal damage to the vessel.
Experimental Type-20 Plasma Torpedo
Designed as one of the most destructive Plasma Torpedos in the Gorn navy, the Type-20 has all the abilities of other plasma torpedos, but highly amplified. In addition, they can cause sensor blindness and high levels of Delta radiation on their intended targets. Originally the project had been scrapped due to the Delta radiation causing illness in workers handling the weapons, the weakness has thus been fixed. Intended for use on Starbases and battlestations, the Type-20 has found use in Starships due to the miniaturization of Gorn technology and improvements in ship's systems. The Type-20 is currently in extremely limited testing.
In extreme circumstances, a Plasma Torpedo can be further charged and used as a direct fire weapon. The warhead is absorbed into the plasma stream, then the plasma is concentrated down into a tight beam. The beam is shot from the launcher at the opposing ship, concentrating immense amounts of damage at a very small point, allowing the beam to puncture shields and affect the target directly. This has a downside, though, as the launcher is destroyed in the process of supercharging the Torpedo and emitting the beam.
A limited amount of Gorn vessels are equipped with a cloaking device. The majority of these were salvaged from Klingon or Romulan vessels, but recently, the Gorn have begun to develop their own cloaking technology based upon the Romulan standards. While primitive at this stage, the Gorn cloak is showing great promise.
Gorn families are generally nuclear, with a mother, father, and children. But that family is a part of a larger extended family, the Clan. The Clan then belongs to an ever greater community, the Crest which is not only a collective of families but a political force behaving like a political party. There are ten active Crests on Gornniska, the most powerful being the Dragon Crest followed by the Phoenix Crest and then Red Crest.
Gorn Hegemony The government of the worlds controlled by the reptiloid race known as the Gorn is called the Alliance. The Gorn Alliance is governed by two Autarchs, one who represents the Gorn homeworld and the other who represents the Gorn colony worlds.
No state of war exists between the Federation and the Hegemony, thanks to negotiations begun after initial contact. Peace negotiations progressed on Clanhaven, a UFP world close to the Federation/Gorn Border. The Frontier Accord limits the build up of military shipping in the disputed space.
Negotiations usually progress slowly because the Gorn are split between those who would negotiate peacefully with the UFP and the 'actionist' faction who believe in direct confrontation. Both factions agree on the premise that the Federation must not hinder Gorn expansion and fufillment of their Manifest Destiny, but they differ on the methods to be used.
The Gorn language, Gornouf, is a combination of guttural sounds and hissing, and some words have no vowels in them at all. A good example is the Gorn Republic's creed, "FOKHSS IP'KAKAROO OIIAASS'YU." This means "Fight the weak."
The Gorn (whose homeworld is in the Alpha Quadrant) have a long history of war, art, culture, and pride. They have had many global governments on their planet of Gornar, from the original Empire of Gornniska, to the Gorn Confederacy, to the Gorn Empire (separate entity from the Empire of Gornniska), to the Gorn Republic.
The Gorn Hegemony is a powerful empire located coreward of the Romulan Star Empire, also bordering the United Federation of Planets and the Interstellar Concordium. It is comprised of three genetically related races, each from a neighbouring star system, knows as Ghdar I, Ghdar II and Ghdar III, are on the coreward border of the Romulan Star Empire and are a more civilized and cultured race than most people believe.
The alliance between the Gorn and the Federation - following a brief conflict over a misunderstanding regarding the Federation colony on Cestus III, a Gorn world - represents one of the few alliances that is based on mutual trust and desire for friendship as opposed to political convienence.
They are mutually antagonistic with the Romulans.
They can heal injury at a rate of two pounds (1 kg) of flesh per hour, and knit bones in less than 15 minutes.
The Gorn Hegemony has fallen on hard times recently due to an invasion by the Romulan Star Empire engaged at the Gorn Orbital Fleetyards above the Class-N planet Sobek. 120 Romulan vessels crossed the Neutral Zone into Gorn space under cloak and launched a surprise attack on the Fleetyards, utterly destroying them. The rest of the fleet responded to this attack and drove the Romulans from Gorn space, but not before one Warbird launched a Tricobalt warhead into Sobek's atmosphere. The reaction cracked the Oxygen and Hydrogen in the air, igniting both, and rendering the world a lifeless husk in a matter of minutes. 2 million Gorn died at Sobek, but this was not the worst of it. The Battle of Sobek was a ruse. While the Gorn fleet was occupied defending the fleet yards, the Romulans staged equally massive surprise assaults on key Gorn installations, destroying several worlds and crippling the Hegemony. 250 million Gorn died in the three days of the invasion before the Romulans were finally routed, but the damage was done. Most of the Gorn fleet was destroyed and the Hegemony's infrastructure was in ruin. Unable to move resources or rebuild, the Gathering was effectively rendered impotent. Many suspect that this wasn't truly an invasion by the Romulans. Rather it was an attempt to render a fatal blow to the Gorn and then wait for them to die. If the latter is indeed the case, it has been a resounding success as soon after famine and death spread throughout the Hegemony.
Due to the destroyed infrastructure of the Gorn, piracy has been able to be conducted unabated. There have been many more incursions by other powers, such as the Cardassians, attempting to gain a foothold in Gorn territory and exploit the resource rich planets. All invasions have been turned away, but with each one, there is a loss of life and vessels that the Gorn can simply no longer afford.
Slowly, the Gorn are rebuilding their infrastructure and getting their shipyards back into place, but the progress is slow due to constant pirate activity and incursions from less than friendly powers intent on gaining a foothold. Famine is still rampant, as are diseases that are untreatable due to lack of medical transportation. The Gorn know that invasion is inevitable, but they do not know when and it has left the Hegemony on edge.
At the suggestion of the Klingon Chancellor during the transfer of vessels from the Empire to the Hegemony, Ambassador Zogozin has been attempting to open negotiations with Admiral LoDona of the 52nd fleet. The Klingons praise LaDona as an honorable warrior and competent leader, the sort that the Gorn could potentially ally with in the event that invasion plans move forward. To that end, Dr. Serixs Ssarumon, having left the Gorn Navy after the battle of Sobek, was reactivated from the reserves and enrolled into Starfleet Academy to a Science Major and ensured assignment with the 52nd. It is the Gorn's hope that having one of their own serving on board a Federation vessel would help convince the Admiral to hear them.
Threat from the Federation is not the only worry the Gorn have at this time. The loss of shipping routes and the inability for the government to properly maintain order has led to many factions within the Gorn Hegemony to splinter. The actionists, lead by the very same Gorn that planned the attack on Cestus III, has once again begun overtures for open warfare and combat with the Federation, Romulans, and Klingons. The monarchy, believing cooler heads will prevail, know that in the Hegemony's current state, it would not survive such an action. However, the negotiations between the factions are starting to crumble and civil war is becoming more and more likely. The Gathering and those Gorn loyal to the restoration of the Gorn Hegemony are unsure how long they can keep the actionists from open combat with the other major powers.
Aid from an Ally?
Due to the wrecked state of the Gorn, the Hegemony was forced to turn to the Federation for aid in repairing and rebuilding its decimated fleet and restoring the infrastructure that was needed to provide aid to its people. Zogozin, Gorn ambassador to the Federation sought the help of Admiral Doenitz, now the leader of the Federation. Doenitz agreed to take the matter under advisement and then asked the Ambassador to leave. All further efforts to seek aid from the Federation were stone-walled by various elements and Zogozin could do nothing more than return to the Hegemony and await the inevitable call to surrender. After some time, Admiral Doenitz agreed to provide the Hegemony with a Galaxy Class vessel for the purposes of study. When the Gorn arrived at the Rendezvous point, however, all they were supplied with was a Saucer module with the weapons stripped and the computer core mostly blanked. This level of deception hurt relations between the two powers even further and bolstered the Actionists' influence among the people. Ambassador Zogozin, having been made a fool by the Federation, quietly resigned as Ambassador.
It was during this time that a member of the Federation Admiralty, an old friend of Zogozin's, secretly relayed highly disturbing information to the Gorn. Federation Marines were conducting exercises to train against Gorn Shock troops. Likewise, many scenarios were created to train for planetary incursion and occupation. Effectively, the Federation was in the early planning stages to invade the Hegemony and take it by force, though apparently in a highly quiet manner.
In response to this the Gorn enacted Project Phoenix. The Klingons gave the Gorn a hundred old D7 Starships, which the Gorn frantically worked to refit to current technological specifications. In exchange, the Klingons would retrieve all data on Project Phoenix for feasibility studies in the Klingon Empire. the vessels showed promise, able to mount the more destructive Plasma Torpedo systems, Gorn engines, and shields. However the Gorn knew that in a full out invasion, these ships would not be enough.
it was during this time that Chief Petty Officer Serixs Ssarumon, the former foreman of the Sobek Fleet Yards, volunteered his private vessel to Project Phoenix as well. His was an old Constitution-II Class vessel that was salvaged and purchased under Interstellar Law, the USS Lexington (NCC-1709). The Lexington showed the most promise under Project Phoenix, the saucer section retrofitted with "Assignment Modules" that allow its role to be changed quickly. In addition, she was fitted with the latest in Plasma Torpedo technology and Binary Warp cores, allowing one core to function even if the other is destroyed. The entirety of Project Phoenix took 18 months converting four-hundred vessels, some Klingon D7s, others older Gorn vessels, into current combat readiness with Gorn crews working around the clock despite material shortages. Many retired Gorn, some well past 230 years, volunteered to be reactivated and get back to work.
With many vessels in the Civilian fleet pressed into combat service and the fleet augmented with older vessels refit to current standards, the Gorn faced only one more problem. Manpower. With so many lives lost, all vessels were severely undermanned. This led to the advent of a highly classified project known only as Avatar.
For many years, the Gorn had been experimenting with and developing Positronic modules on par with that of the Soong-type androids. However there was one problem. The positronic brains were immense. Far larger than what could be used in a humanoid body. Before, the brains were powered by optitronic data circuits, but after capturing a Romulan Warbird experimenting with bio-neural circuitry, the project reached a new level.
Though size was not reduced by any noticeable margins, the processing power proved to be ten-fold greater than that of the previous optritronic circuitry. The artificial intelligence showed emotional response, creativity, and the ability to recognize and develop loyalties to individuals. In addition, they were able to devise unorthodox military tactics and continually learn and adapt to stimulus.
After the loss of all the Gorn lives, it was determined to bring Project Avatar into being. A single vessel was chosen, the refit USS Lexington. Her entire Duotronic interface system was gutted and replaced with bio-neural circuitry, then a highly advanced Gorn computer core was installed. Finally, the fetal Artificial Intelligence was implanted and brought to life. Many Gorn in the government protested to this project, noting the M-5 computer incident the Federation dealt with when trying this very same thing over a century before, an engagement that Lexington herself was involved in and was nearly destroyed. Nevertheless, the King saw merit in Project Avatar and ordered it to proceed. All ships systems were tied into the computer core, granting the AI command and control should her crew be incapacitated. Since it was determined that a rogue AI in control of a starship could be deadly, many ethical subroutines were created and integrated into the AI, giving her a sense of patriotism and loyalty to her crew and the Hegemony.
Upon activation, Lexington's artificial intelligence, which immediately assumed the identity of the vessel, began to question where it was and who it was. The Gorn, seeing no reason to lie to the new AI, granted her access to all information concerning the state of the Hegemony and Project Avatar. Many were stunned, even those that had been against the project, when Lexington began to mourn for those lost and show the same desperation as her organic counterparts to defend the Hegemony from the potential invasion. No one expected this level of self awareness from an AI system. Her ability to feel sorrow and guilt quieted the naysayers.
Dr. Serixs Ssarumon, now a civilian working in the Gorn Navy and prior to his enrollment at Starfleet Academy, remained close to this project. He and Lexington developed a true friendship and she helped him cope with the loss of his family at Sobek. He helped her develop the traits she would need to survive in the Hegemony, including emotional control and careful analysis of information before action.
Lexington's personality developed quickly under Ssarumon's guidance. She showed a skill at both diplomacy and combat. With practice, she was becoming skilled at use of her weapons and with showing creative thinking.
The King and government were pleased because with the AI in place, Lexington could be efficiently run with a crew of less than 100 instead of the original 430 needed to operate a Constitution Class vessel. The additional crew space could be devoted to extra labs, countermeasures, troop barracks, or weapon placements.
Overall it was determined that Project Avatar was a success with only minor quirks. Lexington, for reasons unknown, developed an almost over-protective nature to her crew and became highly aggressive when the crew was threatened. These are not traits the Gorn Hegemony would see as a problem and the project was given final green light.
The next vessel fitted for Project Avatar was an old Klingon D-7, the IKS Gr'oth. Like Lexington, Gr'oth showed all the positive personality traits and quirks common to the Project Avatar vessels, however a tragic event threw the vessel's AI into a severe downward spiral.
While on patrol near the Federation border, Gr'oth and her crew encountered overwhelming pirate activity. Using a weapon banned by interstellar law, a Thalaron Generator, the priates attacked the Gr'oth. The crew were all killed in one fell swoop as they were dosed with Thalaron radiation. Much to her merit, the Gr'oth drove off the pirates on her own, but her warp system was severely damaged, leaving her at sublight speed only. When she finally managed to limp back to the nearest Gorn base, she was suffering from severe emotional distress. Wracked with guilt because she could not defend her crew against the weapon, she fell into severe depression. During repair operations, she transported the maintenance crew to the starbase and left under her own power and without authorization. She jumped to warp before she could be pursued and made haste to a G-type star on an apparent suicide run. All attempts to talk her out of this course of action failed and she refused to respond to command codes. The only message she sent back to the Gorn ships pursuing her was a simple, but sorrowful "Forgive me". The Gorn could only watch in horror as she slammed herself into the corona of the star and was destroyed.
This event led to a recall of the Lexington and new command overrides put into place to prevent this action from occurring again. The new system allows the crew to override the AI and remove control ability from it in the event of instabilities.
The Gorn have begun to outfit a limited number of other vessels with Project Avatar AI systems, but at this time, they feel Lexington needs further testing to ensure all the problems are worked out. This is testing they can ill afford, as both the time and manpower are simply not available.
The text is an amalgam of work by James Dock & Donald Jones, as well as Bijhan Al-Attack, with lessor contributions and editting by Daniel Greene.