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"The Archetype Association"

The Archetype Association

Author's Notes
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Chapter 41
Chapter 42
Chapter 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45
Chapter 46
Chapter 47
Chapter 48
Chapter 49


"So," Betsy said, "just when did you find out about this ... ability?"

"About ten years ago," Archetype replied, sipping at his tea. Warren had given him one of his many shirts to wear, and he now looked like nothing had happened to him. He and the X-Men were seated in the formal dining room, surrounding the large table.

"I was working out West, around the Rockies, and was doing a lot of traveling. One night, I was in the middle of nowhere, driving to my next assignment, when a semi showed up out of nowhere. The driver was probably asleep at the wheel, and was weaving all over the place. There was no way in hell I could avoid the thing, and I ended up hitting it head-on.

"The next thing I knew, it was high noon, and I hurt like hell. I wasn't entirely rational, so I just climbed out of the car and started walking. Later, when I saw the car, I realized that the car had fallen off the mountain, the gas tank had exploded, and the car had burned to a shell, with me in it.

"I didn't realize that at the time, though. All I knew was that I was in pain, and I had to find help. I guess I wandered into the mountains eventually. The next thing I remember is finding a cabin in the middle of the woods. I tried to shout for help, but my throat wouldn't make any sounds. I was finally able to break a window and climb in that way.

"The cabin was deserted - I suppose it was a hunting lodge of some kind - and I looked around. I was able to find a mirror. Sometimes I wish I hadn't." He closed his eyes as if still feeling the pain.

"I was a mess. My skin had been charred black, and my face was completely gone. The skin was hanging from my fingers. I took a good look at myself, and fainted dead away.

"I have no idea how long I lay there. I didn't move. I didn't even breathe. I just collapsed, and wondered why I wasn't dead. I waited to die. I wanted to die, because the pain was more than I could stand." He looked at Xavier wryly. "Believe it or not, the part that I don't expect you to believe is coming up."

"We'll do our best to suspend our disbelief," replied Xavier.

Archetype chuckled, then continued. "Well, after a while I started losing awareness. I like to think that I was at a point between death and life, neither one nor the other." He frowned. "Before I continue, I think I should ask: are any of you familiar with the psychological principles of Carl Jung?"

"I am," Betsy replied. "When I first realized that I was a telepath, I read as much psychology as I could get my hands on."

Archetype looked at her, eyes narrowed, then continued. "Well, you may be able to explain to the others what I'm talking about, then. It should become clearer as I go along."

"I stayed on that cabin floor for several months, healing, although I didn't really know how much time was passing. When I finally came out of my trance, I was completely healed. However, my hair was about a foot longer, and I had a full beard. I was also thin as a rail, and hungrier than I'd ever been in my life. I staggered out of the cabin - I was able to unlock the door - and looked for something - anything - to eat.

"After stripping a few blackberry bushes, I ran across a buck, not five feet away from me, on the other side of a tree. Suddenly, my senses went crazy. I knew, instantly, what I had to do. I leapt out from behind that tree, jumped onto the back of that buck, grabbed him by the horns, and held on for dear life." He stopped for a moment. "I can't believe I just said that," he said to himself, rolling his eyes. Some chuckles were heard around the table.

"Anyway, after a while, the buck just got tired out. Now, this buck was huge, about three hundred pounds, while I must have weighed about eighty at the time. But I grabbed that deer by its head, and with one twist of my arms, I broke its neck.

"Then I found two rocks - two pieces of flint, and knocked them against one another. Again, I didn't know how, in fact, I was too hungry to care, but I knew exactly what angle to hit those rocks together to get some sharp chips of flint. I used those chips like you'd use a utility knife. I had the meat off that buck before the body was cold. I just sat there in the middle of the forest, totally naked, eating a raw deer with my hands. I had gone totally primal."

"You came out of that state eventually, I assume?" Hank asked.

"Yes. Once my belly was full, I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was still hungry, but I had filled out a bit. It seemed that my body had been working overtime, converting the calories that I had eaten into pure muscle. Night had fallen while I was asleep. I was a bit more rational, and I realized that wolves would be after the carcass soon. I cut off the largest slab of meat I could carry, took my flint chips, and got back to the cabin as fast as I could.

"The previous occupants of the cabin had left a supply of firewood, so I used the flint to start a fire. Now, I had never even cooked over a charcoal grill before, so I didn't know how I knew how to start that fire, but I did it anyway. I cut off some of the meat, cooked and ate it, and went back to sleep.

"Next morning, I got a good look at myself. I was a filthy mess, covered in blood and dirt. I found a stream near the cabin, and washed up. Things started to come back to me around then, and a few minutes later, I realized that I was standing naked in the middle of nowhere. I went back to the cabin, and found some old clothes after rummaging around for a while.

"Before I got dressed, though, I realized something. Before that truck hit me, I had lived out of a fast-food bag and never exercised, so while I wasn't fat, I did have a bit of a potbelly. I was pretty flabby, actually. Now, though, I was lean and mean. I had the body of a long-distance runner. Some old scars had healed themselves, too. I couldn't explain it.

"I sat down and thought about it for a while, wondering how I knew how to do all these things. Now, this was the first time in days that I had something other than simple survival to worry about. After sitting quietly for a few minutes, I realized that I could hear voices inside my head. A lot of voices."

"What are you saying?" Betsy asked.

"I think I've started to figure it out," Jean said. "It explains your code name, too. You're in contact with the collective consciousness, aren't you?"

"Yes," Archetype replied. "Either that, or I went completely insane as a result of my accident."

"That could explain why we can't read you," Xavier said.

"Possibly. There might, however, be a more mundane reason for that. Are you familiar with a neurological condition known as attention deficit disorder?"

"Yes. It's a condition found in children, usually accompanied with hyperactivity."

"There's been some new research in that area recently, Charles," Jean corrected him. "There are cases where hyperactivity isn't present, and some people carry the condition on into adulthood."

"I'm one of those lucky few," Archetype said sardonically. "The reason why you can't read me isn't due to any sort of psychic defense. My mind is like that all the time."

"Must make life interesting.," Hank remarked.

"You should get some entertainment watching me flip out around April fifteenth. It's sort of difficult to fill out a tax return for the previous year when you can't remember what you did yesterday. Well, after I demonstrate my other primary ability, I suppose that you'll want me to leave for a while, so that you can make a decision regarding my status. If you do decide to keep me around, I'll give you a few warnings about what having me here is going to be like."

"That sounds fair," Xavier agreed. "Would you demonstrate for us, please?"

"Certainly." Archetype paused for a moment. "An explanation beforehand might be in order. When I started to realize what had happened to me, I spent several months in that cabin, trying to explore the limits of my new gifts. After several acts of extreme masochism that helped determine the limits of my healing abilities, I decided to look inside my mind again.

"After ... I guess 'communing' would be the best word ... with those voices for a while, I started to see things in a different way. It's not really something that I can explain in words. I think you would have to experience it to understand it. The gist of it, though, was that I could see 'paths' all around me, going to different places, that I could step into if I so chose." He smiled for a moment. "I'm afraid that what I'm about to tell you is going to seem pretty mystical. Please bear with me."

Archetype got up, and walked over to the window. The sun was just starting to set, darkening the sky with scarlet and gold.

"The world that you know is only one of many out there."

"We're aware of that," Scott said. "We've all visited other worlds in the past."

"That wasn't quite what I meant. I'm not talking about a location in space, but a state of being, and of looking at the world. All of you walk in the daylight, touched only lightly by darkness. I've traveled to many different places, and have experienced the extremes of both light and darkness. I've been in the many shades of grey in between, and have experienced other 'shades' of being." He shook his head as he sat back down. "I'm sorry, but the dichotomy of black-and-white, good-and-evil doesn't tell the whole story. I've seen ways of viewing the world which don't have any parallel that you'd be familiar with. When I see things, I see them on many different levels at the same time."

"Just what do you mean by 'levels'?" asked Warren.

"Well, there's the level that you and I are dealing with right now, what could best be called the physical level. However, I'm also aware of other things: what might be called the dimensional level. I can 'see' the manner in which natural forces interact around me, and draw strength from those forces, making my own abilities more efficient. I can also tap on something..." He hesitated for a moment, appearing uncertain. "...I'm trying to find the right word. 'Primitive' is wrong, because it's rich and vibrant, and as important now as it's ever been. I suppose 'deep' is the best way to describe it. I can utilize those images and concepts which are buried deep within the human psyche, and draw information from them. Jung called these sources archetypes. That's how I chose my name.

"I also seem able to, in a very vague way, predict the future."

"How do you mean?" Ororo asked.

"No action takes place in a vacuum. Every action that you or I make affects the environment around us. I'm not just talking about the natural environment, either. Society, politics, and the economy are all affected by our actions. What I seem to be able to do is to look into the collective consciousness and, based upon what I see there, make extrapolations of what is going to happen in the near future. I can then make decisions based on my conclusions."

"How accurate are your predictions?" asked Bobby.

"I have a success rate of between seventy and eighty percent. Once I came down out of the mountains, I found that I was nearly broke. I had been fired from my job, and after paying off all my bills, I had about one thousand dollars to my name. After getting another job, and a few months of careful living, I built that up to five thousand dollars. I picked up a paper and a financial magazine, and started leafing through them aimlessly. Eventually, I found that certain listings caught my eye, and others gave me a bad feeling, for no reason whatsoever. I invested in the ones that made me feel good. I dropped them when I got a bad feeling about them. After following that system for a full year, I was worth quite a bit."

"Wait a minute," Warren choked out. "You mean that you became rich by randomly leafing through the financial section?"

"Yes. Disgusting, isn't it? I've kept that up for the past three years."

"How much are you worth now?" Xavier questioned him.

"I'd rather not say out loud. May I have a pencil and paper?"

"Certainly." Xavier handed him the notepad that he had been jotting his observations on. Archetype scribbled on it for a moment, and handed it back to him.

Xavier looked at it for a moment. "What's wrong, Charles?" Ororo asked him.

"He's written it in scientific notation. This will take a second." After a moment's concentration, Xavier's eyes went wide. "Good Lord!"

"What? How much is he worth?"

"Think of your Social Security number," Archetype advised her.

"All right," she replied.

"Now add two digits."

"You must be joking."

He shrugged. "It pays the bills. I'd be more than willing to act as a financial advisor for any of you."

"We're getting off the subject," Xavier interrupted, regaining his composure. "We've determined that you have a precognitive ability."

"I wouldn't call it precognition. I don't see events as much as I see trends. My skill is highly intuitive. I can find the solution to a problem, and act upon it, without being able to articulate just how I found that solution."

"Understood. What is your other primary ability?"

"Well, it's related to my first one. I told you that I can see the 'paths' that exist all around me. I can utilize those paths to travel from place to place. When I do that, I temporarily step outside of this reality, and reenter it almost instantly. Time has little meaning for me while I'm in the process of transit. 'Teleportation' would be the best word for what I do, although it's a little inexact."

"So you're a teleporter," Jean said.

"I have some other abilities in that vein, as well. You see, once I came to certain realizations as a result of my experience, my own views of space and time changed drastically." He picked up a sheet of paper from the table and stood up. "I think that a demonstration would be the best way to explain what I'm talking about. With your permission?" he asked, looking at Xavier, who nodded.

Archetype walked over to a corner of the room, where there was a bit of space for him to move around. He held two adjacent corners of the paper, holding it in front of him.

"Imagine that the surface of the paper is the fabric of space. If you wanted to travel from one end of it to the other, it would take you quite a while. Now, when I travel, I look for another path, one in which the total distance is shorter."

"You see, the metaphor of a sheet of paper to represent space is a bit inaccurate. It encourages the view that space is an orderly place. The reality is more like this." He crumpled the paper up into a ball.

"Now, this analogy is also inaccurate, because different areas of space are either crumpling or flattening out at any given time. The forces that hold it all together are moving along with them, and are constantly interacting with one another. What I do is locate the points where these forces converge, and use them to get where I have to go."

"So you use existing congruence points in space-time, rather than creating your own," Henry said.

"Yes. Believe me, it's much harder for me to explain it than it is for me to do it. Another facet of this ability is that I can 'stretch' space-time. You see, by carrying my metaphor a bit further, the fabric of space is not made of cloth, but of elastic. I can either 'fold' or 'stretch' any distance."

"Can you demonstrate the latter?" Henry asked.

"Certainly. Please walk towards me." Henry obliged him, getting out of his chair and approaching him.

To the rest of the X-Men sitting at the table, it looked like Henry was walking in place, then running in place.

"What's happening, Hank?" Bobby asked.

"The dining room just gets longer and longer," Henry gasped.

"You can stop running now," Archetype said. "I'll return things to normal when you're still." Henry stopped, standing in place. He then sat down again.

"What about folding space?" Rogue asked him from the other side of the room.

"That's easier done--"

"--than said," he replied from directly behind her.

Rogue and the others turned abruptly, caught totally unawares.

"Is that how you showed up at the front door?" Jean asked.


"Are you always that fast?" Xavier asked him carefully.

"No," Archetype chuckled. "That was the Federal Express version of translocation. My usual method of travel is this."

A black rectangle, about six feet high and four feet wide, appeared beside him. A faint blue aura surrounded it. "This is what I call a Door. Original name, isn't it?"

"Where does it go to?" Rogue asked.

"Once I go through it, I'll transit back to where I was standing before." He stepped into the hole in space, and reappeared back beside Xavier.

"Is there any limit to your range?" Ororo asked.

"Not to my range, but I have to have a good idea of what there is where I'm going. If there are any solid objects in the area, things will get messy. It's actually more difficult for me to go a short distance than a long one. It takes longer to find connection points."

"Anything else about you that we should know about?" Xavier asked.

"My vision extends a bit farther into the infrared than an ordinary person's. It looks like a thermograph to me. Because of that, my night vision is excellent. I don't know if this has any bearing on anything, but before the accident, my eyes were brown. When I woke up from my recovery, they were grey, and have been ever since, and while I don't appear to have aged since then, my hair has been going silver for about a year. My hearing is a bit more acute than the ordinary. My ability to fold space-time allows me to move at what will appear to be very high speeds to an objective observer. I'm skilled in the use of most edged weapons, and I have excellent hand-to-hand combat skills."

"What about personal information?" Jean asked. "Interests and such?"

"Well, I do a lot of reading, and I'm a graduate of the Culinary Academy. I'll be more than happy to take on the role of cook if I'm accepted. I advise that you not give me responsibility of anything high-tech."

"Why's that?" Scott asked.

"I seem to have what could best be termed 'negative mechanical karma'. Electronic devices seem to act strangely whenever I'm around them for a while. I put out streetlights as I walk down the street at night, my computer never seems to work right, and light bulbs tend to burn out whenever I try to turn on a lamp. I'll keep my computer separate from whatever systems you have here, to minimize the chances of affecting your equipment.

"My connection with the collective unconscious makes me a very light sleeper. It's very rare that I'll sleep through a full night. I tend to be a night owl in any case. My interests are wide ranging, but tend not to be mainstream. I listen to almost any type of music under the sun. As a personal quirk, I seem to have total recall for pop music. I can recite almost any song that I've ever heard. Lastly, I tend to be somewhat eccentric. I guarantee you that while I may occasionally be maddening, I'm rarely boring.

"That's about it," he finished. "Any more questions?"

"Two," said Xavier. "And they're related. Why do you want to join us, and why can we use you?"

"That's pretty direct. Allll right. One: I'm a dyed-in-the-wool cynic. I don't trust the government, and I feel that, on the average, people are too unobservant to see what's going on around them. I am, however, realistic enough to realize that I can't bring about any real change if I work on my own. I need to work with people with whom I can achieve a common goal. You," he said, gesturing to the X-Men, "are the most effective catalysts for change that I have seen. Also, to be totally honest, I've been working alone for far too long. I want to be part of something bigger. Everything that I've heard about you says that you are as much a family as you are a team. That sounds like something that I'd very much like to be a part of.

"As for why you can use me, the tactical advantages spring to mind. With a teleporter, you'll be able to respond to events more quickly. The fact that I'm immortal shouldn't be ignored either. You'll be able to send me into situations where none of the rest of you would be able to survive. My skill at predicting the immediate future just might save your lives in a fight. Lastly, since your enemies tend to use ultra-high technology, my disruptive ability could prove to be a useful 'wild card' in a confrontation.

"I'll also make my financial and material resources available to all of you, for both strategic and personal reasons. I have a number of safehouses, scattered throughout the world. That might be useful if anyone gets stranded or separated from the rest of the team."

"All right, I've said my peace," he finished. "If you want, I'll leave while you make a decision."

"Just go into the sitting room," Xavier advised him. "Our discussions tend not to take very long."

"As you wish." He got up, tipped his head in acknowledgment, and left the room.

"Well, what do you think?" asked Xavier, turning back to the table.

"How did he know where we were?" Logan queried.

"I gave Val clearance to give him our location. He probably showed up at our front door to prove a point."

"What would that be?" asked Bobby.

"Think about it, kid," Logan replied. "We have some of the most advanced security technology in the world. He was able to bypass it completely, and knock on our front door. If he could do that, then he could have shown up inside, fully armed, and started shooting."

"The fact that he didn't most likely reflects his intentions more than it does his capabilities," Henry added.

"How did Val learn about this guy?" Rogue asked. "And what did she tell us about him?"

"You'd better play the disk again, Charles," Jean advised him.

"Good idea. Why don't we go down to the briefing room?" They all got up and made their way towards the elevators allowing passage to the lower levels, where the X-Men kept all of their advanced technology. As they passed by the living room, Archetype looked up from his book.

"We want to review the disk again," Xavier told him.

"Fair enough," he replied agreeably, returning to his book, pointedly ignoring the fact that Betsy sat down across from him, looking at him intently.

When they had reconvened in the briefing room, Xavier inserted the disk which Archetype had given him into a CD-ROM player, which he activated. When the prompt appeared, he typed in an encrypted password. A few seconds later, Valerie Cooper's face appeared on the screen.

"Hello, Charles," she said. "I've made this recording in order to explain just why I sent Archetype to you on such short notice.

"I think that an introduction is in order. The Committee on Superhuman Affairs is divided into several departments, each an agency in its own right. One deals with natural mutations, one with those superhumans who have gained powers through artificial means, and one with extraterrestials. It's the fourth agency that's important for the purposes of this briefing. This agency deals with events and phenomena which are best defined as 'supernatural'. It's descended from an agency which was formed during World War Two. The Third Reich was using quite a bit of magic in an effort to gain a tactical advantage, and the Allies formed an organization to counter them. Today, the agency monitors magical activity throughout the world, and makes the Committee aware of any events which could pose a threat to national security.

"Just about two years ago, I started receiving reports that magical forces were on an upswing in both the United States and Europe, reversing a decline which had been taking place since the end of the war. In almost all the cases of increased magical activity, there was a common denominator: Will Riley was present. It is not yet known at this time whether this is a result of deliberate activity on the part of Mr. Riley, or an inadvertent result of his presence.

"Mr. Riley holds citizenship in both the U.S. and the Irish Republic. He has no criminal record, and does not seem to hold to any specific political philosophy. Nothing appears out of the ordinary about him until he reappeared after vanishing for four months. He achieved tremendous financial success, making a fortune in the stock market. There were various unofficial investigations, of course, but no evidence of wrongdoing was ever found. The consensus among my people is that he's either an incredibly lucky sonofabitch, or he does possess some sort of power which allows him to foresee the immediate future, because he sold, most of the time, seconds before his holdings lost value. His timing was just too close for there to have been any sort of collusion with someone else.

The image on the screen changed to a security camera of a European city. "This footage is from a security camera at the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Israeli security provided it at my request.

"You may recall a terrorist attack that was staged here by a an ultra-conservative Jewish group four years ago. Riley was there that day. As far as we've been able to tell, that's a coincidence. Keep an eye on the bottom left of the screen."

They saw Riley walking around, looking at the architecture, a book in his hands. A few seconds later, several men with automatic weapons came on screen and started firing into the crowd. Riley fell along with the rest of the crowd, several bullet wounds visible on his body. The terrorists fled off camera.

The clock on the monitor skipped ahead ten minutes. Riley moved slowly, staggering to his feet, covered in his own blood. He turned suddenly, as if startled by a sound, then hurried out of the room, just before medical and military personnel arrived.

Cooper's face reappeared on the screen. "I ordered my people to begin a full investigation of Riley, but to keep it low key. About three months later, I was working late in my office one night when there was a knock at my door. I assumed that it was the security guard who was doing rounds, so I told him to come in. Well, the door opens up, and in walks Riley. He sits down in front of me and just looks at me. I keep a pistol in my desk, so I took it out and pointed it at him. I know that sounds a little paranoid, but I felt pretty much the way I think you guys felt when he breezed past your security. By the time I had raised my pistol high enough to get a bead on him, he had disappeared. Before I could react to that, I felt something cold against the back of my neck, and a quiet voice telling me not to move. He took my gun away and sat back down.

"He told me that he hadn't come to threaten or harm me and that I wouldn't have been able to harm him in any case. He pulled the clip out, emptied both it and the chamber, and then handed it all back to me. Then he showed me what he had just held me up with." She grimaced. "I may be the first government agent in history to be mugged with a Charleston Chew." Some giggling was heard around the table.

"He asked me why I wanted to see him. Now I hadn't given any orders to approach him yet, because we hadn't been able to determine just what his political leanings were. I asked him what had given him the impression that I wanted to speak with him, and he responded that I had been investigating him. Then he gave me the names of all of the agents who were working on his case.

"Now, I have to be sure that you all understand that during the time that we were investigating him, we were doing it from desks in Langley, totally among ourselves. We hadn't sent out a single field agent to check him out. Somehow, he knew not only what we had been doing, but the stage we were at in the investigation. I'm not ashamed to say that my jaw hit the floor.

"He told me that he had no desire to work for the government, and that he fought his own battles. He did say, however, that he wanted to do some good in a manner that would allow him to do the job his way. He gave me an e-mail address and suggested that I contact him and give him the names of some... let's see, what was the phrase... 'independent agencies' who could use his talents. Then he tipped his hat to me and vanished. After I started breathing again, I got my team together, and we decided that the best way to keep him under control was to make sure that he worked with people we could trust. We decided on you, because you guys have been the most dependable of all the groups out there, and you have the best record of dealing with difficult personalities. I contacted him, and over a period of several months, we exchanged noncritical information about you. No identities were compromised, I assure you.

Yesterday, he called me and told me that he would contact you guys today. I wasn't given any preparation time, because he didn't want me trying anything funny. I barely had time to make this disk and give it to him." Val's face became very serious.

"Be careful with him, Charles. He knows a lot more than he talks about. He's sharp, he's sneaky, he's unpredictable, and I get the feeling that he's much more dangerous than he lets on. He may be one of the more powerful members that you've had. Just make sure that he doesn't blow up in your face. I'm depending on you to control him, or, if necessary, to neutralize him." The screen went blank.

"Neutralize," Bobby snorted. "The bureaucratic term for eliminate."

"We have other options at our disposal, Bobby," Xavier reminded him.

"Look, Professor, I don't want us to have another Creed hanging around here."

"Neither do I," said Jean. But I don't think he has any desire to harm us. Given what we've seen of him so far, there's been no sign of hostile intent from him."

"But you can't read him," Bobby pointed out.

"I didn't say that," she replied. "I only said that his thoughts weren't very coherent. I remember reading some articles about the condition he mentioned. A person with attention deficit disorder would read the way he did to a telepath."

"Just what is attention deficit disorder, Jean?" Ororo asked.

"A neurological condition. His brain's wired a little differently than ours. He can't filter out external stimuli as well as the rest of us can." She frowned. "I doubt I'd be able to describe it properly. We'd be better off asking him and letting him describe it himself. I can get emotional impressions from him, though. Mostly, he's worried about what we'll decide."

"This isn't addressing the issue," Xavier noted. "Do we accept him among us or not?"

"He would give us certain tactical advantages," Henry mused. "Even with the Shiar backing us up, we keep getting outdone in technological sophistication. His ability could help us level the playing field. And he is right about our needing a teleporter. Most of the groups that we keep running into seem to have one as standard issue."

"Tell me about it," Logan grumbled. "Just once, I'd like to be able to follow Sinister to wherever the hell it is he disappears to."

"Also," Henry continued, "if he is a precog, then we have the advantage of knowing when something big is about to happen."

"His safehouse system could also prove useful," Betsy pointed out. "So could his financial backing, for that matter."

"I can agree with that," Xavier said. "Our activities over the past few years haven't broken the bank, but they have bent it from time to time."

"I still don't like it," Scott growled. "Something about the man rubs me wrong."

"Anything specific, Scott?" Rogue asked.

He shook his head. "No. It's just a feeling."

"You felt that way about me once, Cyke," pointed out Logan, "and I think I've turned out pretty well."

"I say we let him stay here for a few weeks, so we can get an idea of what he's like," Warren said. "After that, we can make a decision about whether or not he becomes a full member. Besides, it'll give us a chance to test his abilities."

"Any objections to Warren's plan?" Xavier asked. No one spoke. "All right, we'll give him one month. Based on his suggestion, we'll make him the cook for the school. Hank, please set up some training sessions for him. Bobby, put him in Peter's old room. He'll go on a mission only if we need every available warm body. Dismissed."

As they filed back upstairs, Rogue walked over to Xavier. "Won't he need time to move in, Professor?"

Xavier frowned. "I hadn't even thought about it."

"I'll offer to help him out."

"Thank you. While you're at it, take a good look at how he decorates his room. It could give us some insight into how he thinks."


Xavier smiled slightly. "Scientific observation."


Continued in Chapter 3


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