History (Submitted by Oracle)
Project: Flora Black: 2000 - 2005
Alec Holland's research on the effects of meteor rock on certain flora was stolen by Holland's murderer, Anton Arcane. Anton brought this data to Gotham City where it was sold to Gotham State University's acclaimed botanist, Dr. Jason Woodrue. Using this data, Woodrue began to perform all manner of strange experiments with meteor enriched plants and to help yield faster results, he farmed out much of his research to his most gifted students: such as Phillip Sylvain and Pamela Isley.
Unknown to Professor Woodrue was the fact that Sylvain was also an amateur occult herbologist. After seeing what the meteor enriched flora could do, Phillip became obsessed with producing homunculi in the form of plant-produced human replicas. Though Sylvain's research never produced much success while in school, he did refine his formulas and rituals on his own.
In 2005, he had a breakthrough and produced three seeds in his occult greenhouse in Burnside. When the first specimen was grown to maturity, Sylvain began a relationship with the "woman" who he named 'Flora Black' (unimaginative as that was, it was also what he had codenamed the research project itself). This turned out to be quite the nightmare for Flora as she soon realized that her lover and creator did not see her as a person in her own right. In addition to the intimate acts expected of her, Flora was also the subject of many experiments and strange rituals on her, as Sylvain claimed there was still "room for improvement".
This abuse came to a head after she learned that Sylvain was planning to do the same with Flora's two seed-sisters who were still incubating. Not wishing her sisters to share in her pain, Flora attempted to kill her creator with some garden sheers. In the resulting struggle, a power outlet was damaged and sparks ignited some fertilizer. Both Flora and her creator died in a horrific fire, but in her final moments of life, Flora transmitted her knowledge to her sisters, stirring them to life.
Alba Garcia: 2006 - 2007
From the ashes of the fire, two nude female beings crawled from the debris of Sylvain's greenhouse. One had the appearance of a teenager while the other was a child. After causing a stir in their confused state as they stumbled through Burnside, both fled into Slaughter Swamp as they heard police sirens approaching.
Drawn to a remote mill with incredible magical potential, the girls were found by the resident of the mill. Ystina took the pair in and saw that they were fed, clothed, and cared for. Ystina even secured the two girls names through buying some ready made burner identities from the black market and later having Greg Saunders pull some strings to make them even more legit. The oldest seed-sister became Alba Garcia and the youngest took the persona of Susan Linden.
Alba Garcia: 2007 - 2008
A year later, Ystina gave the mill to John Constantine and moved to Gotham City. Alba decided to stay with Constantine to learn more of the magical world that intrigued her while Ystina took the younger Suzy with her to fulfill the girl's dream of going to school and learning more about the world.
Black Orchid: 2008 - 2010
It didn't take long for Alba to realize that John Constantine was not much of a mentor. Once she finished high school, Alba decided to set out on her own rather than move back in with Ystina and Suzy. Before she hopped on the ferry to Metropolis, Alba helped herself to one of John's address books. In Metropolis, Alba soon discovered that most of John's friends were dead or wanted absolutely nothing to do with him once she said anything of the sort of "I know John Constantine."
With limited resources, Alba needed to secure some funds before she continued to the next city. While working at Lex Luthor's casino, Alba met Carl Thorne, the much younger and much more handsome brother of Rupert Thorne. While Carl was wealthy and a smooth talker, he was also a very dangerous arms dealer in bed with Tobias "The Whale" Gervais and the One Hundred.
Having spent way too much time idolizing John Constantine, Alba got the idea she was going to rob the One Hundred to fund her pursuit of magic. One night after Carl passed out from a toxic kiss, Alba took his keys and ventured down to the docks. Using her powers to hide her features with a living costume, Alba beat up the One Hundred's men at a warehouse where a recent arms deal had went down and where the money was being held until Carl could launder it. Alba used Carl's keys to open the safe and make off with the money.
Alba hid the money and went back to Carl as if nothing happened, waiting for the heat to die down and allow her to leave the city and not draw suspicion. There was a hitch. Alba didn't expect the One Hundred to be so ruthless to kidnap her and use her as an incentive to motivate Carl to find the thief. Alba played the victim for a bit, but when she felt it was becoming too dangerous, she again donned her living costume and busted herself out, staging the scene to make it look like the thief had rescued her to send a message to the One Hundred.
Escaping to Central City under the ruse of being told to leave the city by the mysterious "Black Orchid," Alba thought she should call Carl and let him know she was safe. Only when she dialed the number, it wasn't Carl who answered, though she could hear his voice screaming in the background. Sartorius, the metahuman fixer in the employ of Carl's older brother, told Alba she could stop this if she gave up the Black Orchid. Panicking, Alba hung up the phone and tossed it into the Missouri River. By the time she made the next contact in John's book, Alba was an emotional wreck. Her clear distress made it difficult for Richard Occult to turn down her request for help.
Black Orchid: 2010 - 2014
Training with the Gentlemen of Gehenna, Alba became quite adept at using her natural magical gifts. When the demonic siege hit Star City, it was time for the Black Orchid to make her third heroic outing.
Black Orchid: 2014 - Present
Proving herself in Star City, Alba was on the short list for the founding line-up of Dark Justice. Still, before she joined, she made John literally beg her to join the team while she recorded it on her phone.
- (Submitted by Herald) How comparable are Suzy Linden and her sister Alba Garcia to the sporeling species created by Pamela Isley? Are they a cousin species? Are they perhaps the same species? Or are they entirely different?
- (Submitted by Oracle) As Phillip Sylvain was reportedly a big Mucous Membrane fan, having listened to their music in the greenhouse while working, Alba finds herself a reluctant fan and can't help but stop to listen whenever she catches John Constantine mumbling song lyrics under his breath. If John actually belts out some lines, Alba grins like a schoolgirl.
- Magical Botanical Physiology: Alba's body, while having the appearance of flesh and blood, is actually made up of plant materials. She has human organs (or their equivalents) and functions much the same way a human does, but she is not a human at all, only a highly sophisticated plant-based homunculi.
- Chlorogenesis: Through manipulation of essence, Alba can create plant-life. The more sophisticated the plant-matter created in this manner, the more draining the essence requirement.
- Chlorokinesis: Alba can use essence to influence plant-matter in her proximity. Using this ability, Alba can shape and manipulate plants, causing them to grow, move, or attack. She can even mutate plants into other forms by directly rearranging the plant's DNA structure through magic.
- Empathic Reception: Alba can sense the presence of emotions from others, including people, animals and other creatures. She can even sense the emotions of highly sophisticated machinery capable of such complexity. Alba can use this to sense the presence of others by sensing their emotions, but cannot track them to a specific location.
- Enhanced Physicality: Alba's body is considerably stronger, faster, and more resilient than a typical human of the same build and size. Her strength is categorized as Enhanced Strength Class II.
- Pheromone Pollen: Alba can secrete powerful pheromones that have a variety of effects on others. Particularly, her pheromones induce sexual desires in others. Those who find Alba sexually attractive may become more pliable to her social interaction and suggestions as a result. If they find another more sexually appealing than Alba, their concentration might be compromised. If exposed to pheromones for a prolonged time, targets may become mentally unstable or aggressively frustrated.
- Photosynthetic Healing: When exposed to direct sunlight and already properly nourished, Alba heals at an accelerated rate while she remains exposed to direct sunlight or sufficient ultraviolet radiation.
- Shapeshifting: By rearranging her body's eukaryotic cells, Alba can alter her outward appearance in limited ways. Notably, she can enlarge and reinforce her body for added protection, elongate her limbs for increased reach, create organic weapons such as bark claws or vine whips, or perform superficial alterations such as changing the pigmentation of her eyes, hair, or skin.
- Special Respiration: Alba breathes carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen. She cannot breathe underwater in her natural form though as the lining of her lungs is not adapted to handle liquid intake. She can easily overcome this through shapeshifting if she must.
- Supernatural Senses: As a creature born of magic herself, Alba's senses can pierce the veil, allowing her to perceive astral beings and ephemeral phenomena.
- Master Manipulator: Alba is a master of convincing others to believe information that is not true or to accept her biased account of events.
- Expert Alchemist: Alba has been trained in the hermetic discipline of alchemy. She is well-versed in the distillation, brewing, and application of potions.
- Expert Occultist: Alba is well-versed in all manner of occult practices, supernatural creatures, and esoteric rites and rituals.
- Apprentice Sorceress: Though her essence manipulation is more closely attuned with shaping plant-matter or plant-based effects, Alba has begun to show some ability toward general sorcery, such as illusion spells, healing spells, and creating protective barriers.
- Herbicide: Though not likely to be fatal, any sort of weedkiller or similar toxin can cause damage to Alba's unique physiology, similar to anaphylaxis.
- Photosynthetic Requirement: In addition to respiration and dietary nourishment, Alba ample amount of direct sunlight exposure on a daily basis.
- Prone to Dehydration: Alba requires about twice as much water a human to maintain good health.
- Physicality: 4 - Expert / Enhanced
- Occult: 5 - Master / Remarkable
- Weaponry: 4 - Expert / Enhanced
- Expertise: 3 - Trained / Exceptional
- Ranged: 4 - Expert / Enhanced
- Strategy: 3 - Trained / Exceptional
Trivia and Notes
- Black Orchid has a Threat Assessment ranking of 55, marking her as a High Threat.
- In the comics there were four Black Orchids. Alba Garcia was the fourth one during the New 52. Alba is a composite character with other Black Orchids. Flora Black was the second Black Orchid.
- In the comics Jason Woodrue is known as the Floronic Man.
- Alba's second part of Network Files is full of nodes to Susan Linden's origin but changes the context. Susan Linden was from Metropolis and she ran away from home. When working as a blackjack dealer she met Carl Thorne, an arms dealer working for Lex Luthor. They married, but things soon went sour when Thorne decided to rob Luthor. When Susan found out about his crime, Carl murdered her. Susan's childhood friend Phillip Sylvain resurrected her as a human/plant hybrid. She then becomes Black Orchid.
- The sporelings mentioned by Herald might be a nod to the Batman: The Animated Series episode House & Garden or the Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death comic.