|"I once thought I could save the world... now look at it"
— Spoilers for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided follow!
The Orchid is a chemical agent developed by VersaLife under the assumed intentions of eliminating the need for Neuropozyne in augmented people, but is used by the Illuminati in its developmental stage as a bioweapon and a means to control the populace.
Developed by VersaLife researchers including Dr. Megan Reed at Roccasecca Beach, California, it is based on research and possibly samples taken from the only known individual who does not suffer from augmentation rejection. The Orchid in its intended state works by targeting the genes responsible for causing glial tissue buildup and deleting them using a CRISPR gene editing technique, essentially allowing an individual to naturally bond with their augmentations without the constant need for Neuropozyne.
However, the Orchid is far from being perfected. This is due to a "mutability" problem that VersaLife scientists have not been able to overcome. If taken at this point, it will result in the opposite effect, causing violent total rejection in the recipient, effectively leading to their death via organ failure caused by abnormal protein folding in cells. Due to the fact the Orchid is unknown to the world there is no way to test for it. By exploiting this side effect, the Illuminati plot to weaponize the Orchid as an untraceable method of assassination.
The only known individual to naturally survive being dosed by it is ironically its own progenitor, Adam Jensen. This is probably due to the fact that, because Adam does not suffer any sort of augmentation rejection, he is missing the gene that the Orchid targets and it is therefore ineffective against him. While it does not cause any long-term damage, the Orchid was able to incapacitate him for quite some time, suggesting that Jensen himself may not be completely immune to its effects.
An individual can be made to ingest the Orchid directly without noticing anything strange, suggesting that it is tasteless and odorless. Once infected, the victim will, after a short while, suffer from violent convulsions and hemorrhage, leading to a painful death from massive internal organ failure. Any external augmentation they have will begin to behave erratically, as noted in the case of Talos Rucker. The concentration of the dose affects how much pain is suffered by the recipient, with higher doses causing more pain.
Orchid poisoning is generally guaranteed to be fatal, though an afflicted person may survive if treated with the neutralizing agent before any symptoms appear.
- Based on its properties and use, the Orchid could very well be an early version of the Gray Death, with its neutralizing agent being the prototype for Ambrosia.
- Dialogue between Megan Reed and Bob Page played in the VersaLife vault at Palisade Property Bank.
- Dialogue between Alex Vega and Adam Jensen during Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
- Insta-Messaging autosave - e-mail on the VersaLife corporate vault computer.
- RE: Orchid potency exceeds expectations. - e-mail on Vadim Orlov's computer which notes that Rucker was given three times the required dose, resulting in "unimaginable" pain.