Follow the Money:
It had only been two weeks after NORAD had tracked the de-orbit path of League's Watchtower onto the Thanagarian construct in Africa when Amanda Waller convened the first meeting of Cadmus. Attendees included an independent congressman from Utah, a three-star Army general and two scientists employed by STAR LABS. A small video camera sat at the opposite end of the table, beaming their real-time images to an unknown destination. All she knew about the mysterious identity behind the camera was that when she'd requested funding for a new project, it had been delivered within hours to various bank accounts she controlled in the Cayman Islands. For now, that was good enough for her.
She surveyed the people next to her quickly then started the meeting. "The purpose of the meeting today is to determine what technology we might be able to retrieve from what little the Thanagarians left behind, as well as define the strategic directives and tactics of the group."
"Given the extent of the explosion, its doubtful we'll find anything worth salvaging in Africa." One of the scientists observed. "Everything within ten miles of the blast radius was instantly vaporized…even the metal."
"The Thanagarian spaceship that went down off Baltimore might be of some interest," The General interrupted. "I sent a submarine down there to survey the wreck yesterday. I should have a report this afternoon."
"How deep is the water?" Waller inquired.
"Almost a 800 feet," came the reply. "We'd have to use robot-submersibles to retrieve anything useful. It's too deep for humans to dive safely, even with a Tri-Ox/Helium mix. Even if we wanted to try it, we'd have to fly in every decompression chamber in the Northern Hemisphere then put them on a barge on top of the wreck just to give the divers a 50/50 chance at survival."
"Let's not kill the idea yet." A deep voice intoned over the loudspeaker. "If there's a will… there's a way."
"We'd also have to assume our recovery operations will be monitored by the League." Marta snickered. "Even without their precious Watchtower they'll be prying their little noses into our activities."
"They don't know anything about us." The General replied harshly. "If I manage the recovery operation under the guise of 'Environmental Protection' and say we're worried about hazardous materials leaking from the ship, they'll have no choice but to ignore us or help us. Hell, we can probably con Superman into lifting the whole damn thing right off the seabed."
"See me after the meeting." Waller instructed. "Moving on, what reports do we have of recent activities from the League? Where are they based now?"
"There have been frequent observations around Gotham," One of the scientists intoned. "Departures and arrivals in Gotham have continued to increase. Superman's alpha waves are hard to miss above 10,000 feet but once he reaches the City, we lose track of him."
"So Batman is their leader…officially or unofficially," Waller mused. A thought dawned on her. Raising her hand, she took a moment to jot a note down on a report that surfaced in the aftermath of the Thanagarian's implementation of martial law. The account detailed two eyewitness accounts about a civilian couple who'd confronted then evaded a squad of Thanagarians in Baltimore. The physical descriptions of the man and woman were somewhat general but Marta thought it would be worth the investment to hire a police sketch artist. "We may be able to use that…"
She finished writing her note, then swiveled in her chair to face the other scientist. "What do your models predict about their rebuilding the space station?"
"The models predict an 85 chance they'll build something as big or even bigger," The man replied. "I still don't understand how they were able to get the first one up there without our knowing about it."
"We weren't looking then." She replied with a smirk. "This time it will be different. Unless they steal every piece of material for its construction, they'll have to either purchase or fashion the materials themselves. I doubt they have the time or the inclination to do it on their own, so they'll have to pay for it."
"So?" the congressman piped up for the first time, agitated to even be in the same room with this calculating monstrosity of a woman.
"Did you ever watch 'All the President's Men', Mr. Congressman?"
"Years ago…I think, why?"
"Deep Throat told Woodward and Bernstein to 'Follow the Money!' If we start tracking large material purchases, especially for high-tech components they'd require to build a space station, then we'll know who funds their activities."
"I still don't see why that's important," the man protested. "Say you find out Bill Gates decided to write them a check. How does that change things?"
Waller leaned closer to the table, gritting her teeth with the chore of having to educate the ignorant man on yet another item. "Knowledge is power. Every scrap of information we collect will help us take them down, if it ever comes to that. Even the League requires funding. Cut off the source of that funding, and we'll make them very uncomfortable."
"I may have certain resources to aid that effort." The deep voice replied from the speakerphone.TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
The material requests turned out to be easier to track than the money. Despite the competition from the globalization of economies, there were still only a few manufacturers who supplied both the materials and components that could withstand the rigors of long term exposure to the hostile environment of space.
Whoever made the purchases had been careful, judiciously spreading out orders through various manufacturers across the world. For a forensic accountant already looking for the purchases, it wasn't hard to spot the trend, however well concealed.
As the next two months wore on, the accountants who'd magically appeared by command of Cadmus' mysterious funding sources assembled a presentation for Amanda Waller. For her own security, she'd given different teams isolated responsibilities, even going so far as to having them work out of different offices in different states so that the teams wouldn't collectively know what they were working on. As the data began to filter in from her teams, Waller pieced together enough information to speculate on where the final funding source resided:
Her eyes bugged out when she reached her conclusion. Her brain screamed in denial that anyone would have been able to pull off such a perfectly blatant charade for so many years, but the evidence was right there in front of her, all pointing to one inescapable conclusion:
Bruce Wayne was the primary funding source behind the Justice League.
The trail was further corroborated when the police sketch artist translated the two eyewitness descriptions into a physical sketch. The man and woman who stared back at her from the charcoal sketch were undoubtedly Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman.
It didn't matter to her if he did put the Cape and Cowl on every night, by default, Gotham City's richest playboy had either bankrolled Batman's operations for years or he WAS Batman.
As soon as she realized Batman's identity, Waller shut down the accountant's activities. She didn't want anybody else sifting through the reports to find out what she'd learned. To her, knowledge was power. Amanda Waller intended to gather as much power as she could before the League decided to take over as they had in the parallel universe.
"Rich Boy!" She sneered at the sketch. "You have no idea what I have planned for you."