The Thread, Part 11: Barcelona Mosaica

July 13, 2015:

The Martian Manhunter makes his debut in the Thread storyline, while Dick attends Detective Mills' funeral




NPCs: Mills



Mood Music: Barcelona Mosaica, Calexico

Fade In…

THE THREAD, PART 11: Barcelona Mosaico


It's a lazy Sunday afternoon at the corporate offices of Trask Industries, located just outside the Washington D.C. metropolitan area to the west. A hard rain just came through here, and though the sunlight tries to peek through, it's still mostly cloudy.

The parking lot is almost completely empty. After being awarded the huge contract for the Sentinel program, many of the engineers are celebrating with their families and taking time away during the weekend. The era of the 80 hour work week is pretty much over, at least until the next big thing.

Trask Industries compound is made up of two large buildings that rise up high enough to be seen from a distance, the Blue Ridge Mountains there on the backdrop.


The rains came up from the south and hit in time just for Mills' funeral. Dick had been the man's partner for less than a month before he was shot by a dirty cop. That's at least the second dirty cop in the GCPD, and you'd have to be a fool to think there weren't more.

His long black hair is matted against his face, wet from the drizzle, as he and 5 others carry the body of his friend towards its final resting place. Everyone from the department is here. They talk about Grayson in hushed tones. That he's too young for this gig. That this case was more than he could chew. That they should give it to someone else and put him on something less important. Right now he doesn't give two rips about what anyone says. In unison, they begin to lay the casket of his friend down toward the damp Earth.

Reston, in Virginia. It was a fairly peaceful place, to be truthful. Here the Martian Manhunter hoped to discover something of use. There was always one employee who worked extra. Who worked harder than the rest. The one with ambition. It was J'onn's hope that such an individual was currently in the Trask Industries offices. He floats, invisible, just over the facility- looking down through the walls with X-Ray Vision, even as he scans the thoughts local to the area. Reading minds uninvited, and more than likely, unnoticed. The Sentinels represented a troubling turn of events in how the recent birth of the 'Superhuman' was being handled. A war machine designed to hunt down other human beings, or at least, that is how J'onn sees them.

He had seen the possible future through Rachel's eyes, she had shared with J'onn her fears and that vision where he himself was some sort of jack-booted enforcer. It was not a future he wanted to see for this planet, this Earth he called home. And so, he scans- quietly listening, watching, and taking stock into what, exactly, is here- and who, exactly, is here.


There are always stragglers, of course, and with his power set, J'onn can stay pretty much out of harm's way. Of course, that's what Rachel Grey thought, and now Rachel sits behind bars in a Justice League cell at the Hall of Justice. Said stragglers, perhaps 15 in all, and he has his pick between business, IT, development. You name it, and this world is J'onn J'onnz oyster.

Inside it looks pretty clear and clean. There's a lot of party stuff that is left over from when Trask got the contract. Other than that, it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect it to be.


The priest says some words and before you know it the whole thing is over. There were perhaps 300 there at the service. A while later there is only 100, but Dick Grayson hasn't moved. 73 and the same. 19 and the same. Finally there's only one person left, and the young detective swears to his friend that he will find the bastards who did this and bring them to justice.

Information Technologies. There, J'onn hoped, would be answers. His body phased he quietly floats through the building's walls and towards that one gentleman in Information Technologies. Human computers were not one of J'onn's strong suits, beyond perhaps playing Candy Crush on his phone.

Quickly, J'onn finds himself by that professional- standing quietly behind him. He plants a quiet suggestion in the man's mind. Pull up the password files. Allow J'onn to peruse and store this information. While the suggestion is implanted, he continues his thought scans- listening to all thoughts in the building- digging deeper, watching their thoughts and memories. Looking for anything about the Sentinel project. Everything he can find- any information could be important to discovering more about this project.


There's a lot of white noise going on in the minds of these everyday people. Some are happy it's just quiet, others are pissed that they're in on a Sunday. Some are thinking about their families, others are thinking about their work, and one of the guys is thinking about his mistress.

J'onn begins to pull the memories; they flow into his brain in images and sound and for a normal telepath the entire thing would be too much, but of course the Martian Manhunter is not simply a normal telepath.

Gingerly, he begins to piece together slivers of information about the specs, about the capabilities, and about the purposes. It seems that there is, indeed, programming that allows Trask to target those with mutant or meta genes. But a deeper probe shows that the reason for this is to prevent foreign issues.

And, like they've been maintaining, everyone in the office who knows enough to matter agrees that these are intended to be used only on foreign soil. Just as the government has stated.

J'onn is careful, through all of this. Leave no trace in these minds as he peruses. As he reads and puts together the story from the people themselves. Only on foreign soil, a good start. Once the password file is up, J'onn looks for those which would be most important- Lead Engineer, CEO, Government Liaisons if any exist. People in the know- people with important documents sitting in their files. From here, J'onn moves quickly- to each of those computers said people use everyday. He would log in, and quickly go through the appropriate files- using the system information on file structure he gained from the IT professional- to find quickly what he needs and email it to a throwaway email address he'd check in a few minutes… at a random Internet Cafe in the middle of nowhere America, with a false face he'd throw away the moment later.

Hopefully, he found something interesting. Technical specs, marketing, any information at all would be sent his way- each from the computer of the researcher, CEO or other individual. He does this all while invisible.

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