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Vorta

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Vorta
Weyoun.jpg
Weyoun 8, a Vorta male (2375)
Kilana.jpg
Kilana, a Vorta female (2373)

The Vorta were a humanoid species genetically engineered by the Founders of the Dominion to act as field commanders, administrators, scientists, and diplomats. The Vorta saw themselves as those who "served the Founders."

History and politics Edit

Also see: Dominion history

The Vorta believed, perhaps apocryphally, that they previously existed as small, timid, ape-like forest dwellers living in hollowed-out trees to avoid the many predators on their homeworld. Legend has it that one day, a family of Vorta hid a Changeling from an angry mob of "solids" that were pursuing it. In return, the Changeling promised that one day they would be transformed into powerful beings and placed at the head of a vast interstellar empire that would stretch across the galaxy. The Founders fulfilled this promise by genetically changing the Vorta into humanoids and employing them at the highest level of the Dominion as their tools of conquest. (DS9: "Treachery, Faith and the Great River")

According to Star Trek: Star Charts (p. 71), the Vorta homeworld was in fact the planet Kurill Prime as Eris had claimed in DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", even though her story of a recent Dominion conquest of that world was a lie.

Vorta acted as the commanders of the Jem'Hadar. Each Jem'Hadar ship was commanded by a single Vorta, to whom the Jem'Hadar First was directly responsible. The other Jem'Hadar were responsible to the First. The Vorta were tasked with the distribution of ketracel-white, the drug that ensured the loyalty of the Jem'Hadar (although it had been indicated that this was not entirely necessary). (DS9: "To the Death")

Physiology Edit

Vorta had pale skin, violet eyes, and elongated ears that were completely joined to the rest of the head. The Founders altered the Vorta genome to include a sense of hearing greater than that of most other humanoid races, but they had comparatively weak eyesight. Vorta were immune to most forms of poison; Weyoun once observed that this trait "came in handy as a diplomat". (DS9: "Favor the Bold", "Sacrifice of Angels", "Ties of Blood and Water")

A few Vorta agents, such as Eris, were capable of generating powerful blasts of telekinesis, strong enough to knock an adult Human off his feet. However, this did not appear to have been an attribute of most Vorta. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar")

Only one Vorta was demonstrated using telekinesis: Eris. As the DS9 writing staff put more thought into the Vorta following their initial appearance in "The Jem'Hadar", telekinesis was discarded and deemed a misstep that the writing team hoped viewers would forget. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 155) Ronald D. Moore stated, "Our internal rationale has been that Eris was given this ability for a specific purpose by the Founders (and maybe several other Vorta along with her) and that it is not a normal part of the Vorta 'recipe' in the Dominion." (AOL chat, 1998)

Perhaps the most important of the genetic alterations made to the Vorta was an intrinsic belief that the Founders were gods. This ensured the Vorta's absolute obedience to the Founders. (DS9: "Treachery, Faith and the Great River")

Vorta only had a limited sense of taste and aesthetics. They enjoyed kava nuts and rippleberries, as they did before they were genetically engineered, but little else. Vorta generally had no appreciation for art. (DS9: "Favor the Bold", "Treachery, Faith and the Great River")

Unlike the Jem'Hadar, there were both male and female Vorta in service. If a Vorta was killed, they could be replaced with a clone, the clone retaining all the memories of their predecessor through an unspecified process. Vorta clones could occasionally become defective, taking on different personality traits than those of their predecessors (see Weyoun 6). (DS9: "Ties of Blood and Water", "Treachery, Faith and the Great River")

In the event of capture, Vorta were expected to commit suicide via their termination implant. Vorta were told that this death was quick and painless, but this proved not to be the case. (DS9: "Treachery, Faith and the Great River")

PeopleEdit

Food and beveragesEdit

AppendicesEdit

AppearancesEdit

Background informationEdit

The Vorta were initially conceived as rugged space traders, what Ira Steven Behr has referred to as "Brian Dennehy-types." (The Birth of the Dominion and Beyond, DS9 Season 3 DVD special features) He elaborated, "At the beginning, we thought the Vorta were going to be big burly kinds of humanoids that looked like Brian Dennehy or Bob Hoskins. But it didn't work out like that." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 154)

Robert Hewitt Wolfe speculated that the Vorta supplied the Hunters with genetically engineered Tosks. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 154) Wolfe also described the Vorta as "the merchants who would sell the Mongol hordes the machine guns and tanks." Additionally, he explained, "They were supposed to be kind of sexy, and ingratiating, and a little oily." Wolfe wrote about the Vorta in an early Dominion-defining memo, at which point he knew that the Vorta (and the Jem'Hadar) had been genetically engineered by the Founders. "I think, to a certain extent, the Vorta's ability to pull the wool over people's eyes is due to a bit of genetic engineering," Wolfe speculated. "On the other hand it's training, but I think if they do have any kind of psychic ability it's looking at someone and knowing what they want, and what their motivations are. They can then turn around and exploit those things." When he wrote the memo, Wolfe was entirely unsure what the Vorta were like before their DNA was altered by the Founders. "We didn't know what the Vorta started out as. I think after I left they eventually said they'd been squirrels! The Vorta weren't even sentient before the Founders got a hold of them, which I thought was pretty funny." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 13,  p. 57)

Following "The Search, Part II", the Vorta seemed to disappear for a while. This was because the DS9 writing staff was extremely busy with other things. Since the Vorta were considered vital to future stories, though, they were eventually brought back late in DS9 Season 4, as a way of keeping the Founders mysterious and withdrawn. "It was necessary to see the Vorta again, as the conduit between them and the Jem'Hadar," explained Ira Behr. That idea led to the possibility of the Vorta having enmity with the Jem'Hadar, and vice versa, which inspired the return of the Vorta in "To the Death". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, p. 168)

Once "To the Death" introduced the character of Weyoun as played by Jeffrey Combs, the DS9 producers found difficulty with thinking of the Vorta in any other way. This impacted the species when it came time to cast other Vorta roles. "It's really tough to find actors who can play the many colours that he [Combs] gives it," Ira Behr lamented. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 372)

Although Weyoun dies in "To the Death", establishing that the Vorta were genetically engineered, in DS9 Season 5 installment "Ties of Blood and Water", allowed the writing staff to bring the character back as a clone. "It seemed like a viable way of doing it," commented Ira Behr. The idea of introducing cloning into Vorta society also fit well with the Founders having been established as skilled at genetic engineering. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 442)

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