THE ARCHETYPE ASSOCIATION
"Well," said Archetype, "where to begin?"
He and Rogue had just finished packing up and clearing out
what few possessions Peter had left in the room when he had
transferred his belongings to England upon joining Kitty in
Excalibur. Except for a bed, desk, and dresser, the room was
"How about a few pictures on the walls?" Rogue
suggested. "I don't want to make any comparisons,"
she amended hurriedly, "but Peter was an artist, and
he lived in this room long before I joined the team. The room
just doesn't seem the same without something on the walls."
Archetype tilted his head for a moment, lost in thought.
"It's as good a place to start as any. I've got some
objets d'art in some of my other haunts. I'll go and
pick a few to move here." Another hole in space formed
in front of him.
"Want some help?"
"It couldn't hurt. Sure you trust me enough to risk
"What do you mean?"
"Well, after all, you've just met me. I may be a super-villain
in disguise, ready to take you to my secret base, so that
I can do all sorts of unspeakable things to your lovely person."
He twirled an imaginary mustache.
Rogue laughed. "Mister, I could break you in two with
my bare hands."
"Yes, I know. Ms. Cooper told me that you have superhuman
strength, with invulnerability as an added bonus."
"That's right. And if that didn't work, all I have to
do is touch you. You'd be knocked out, and I'd absorb your
memories and powers."
Archetype's face suddenly became very serious. "Miss
"...I feel that I owe you a warning. This isn't meant
as a threat or intimidation. It's simply a statement of fact.
You do not want to do that."
"Why?" she asked, curious.
"I don't think you want to see the world through my
eyes." His face brightened up again. "But enough
gabbing, let's get to work." He gestured towards the
'Door', bowing deeply. "After you, madam."
"Where are we going?"
"To where I was last. Ireland."
She moved towards it, then hesitated for a moment. "What
exactly will happen when we go through?"
He seemed to think about it for a moment. "It will be
totally dark, but you'll be able to see."
"That doesn't make any sense."
"Neither does life. Just trust me. The temperature will
be whatever seems comfortable to you."
Rogue shrugged and walked in.
He was right. It was dark. In fact, it was nothing
but a flat darkness. She looked around. Archetype was
standing right behind her, and she could see a hole behind
him. This hole, however, showed the room they had just left,
a small patch of light piercing the blackness. "How long
will that last?" she asked.
"Until I close it. I'm going to keep both ends open
to make it easier for us. Once I open a Door to our destination,
the two Doors will come together. It'll be like walking into
"Where are we right now?"
"We're... in between."
Rogue nodded, then noticed that he was surrounded by a thin
aura of light. Looking at her own outstretched hand, she found
that she was glowing in the same way. "What's with the
light show?" she asked.
"Life glow. You might know it as an aura. Don't worry,
it's harmless. Wait one moment." He closed his eyes in
concentration, and another door formed in front of them. This
one led to a darkly paneled room, simply furnished. When they
walked through the door, Rogue noticed the sounds of pounding
surf and howling wind.
"We're on the coast?" she asked.
"Yes," he replied. "I suggest staying inside.
That storm sounds bad. Now," he said to himself, "what
do I want to bring with me?"
Over the course of the next forty-five minutes, they moved
a night stand, two lamps, a few framed paintings, an armoire
filled with some rather stylish clothes, and five bookshelves,
books and all.
"I'm glad for your help," he said to her, as he
carried in a floor-length mirror. "It would have taken
me a few hours to pack all these books."
"No problem," she replied, looking at the books.
"Have you actually read all of these?"
"Yes, most of them more than once. You're all more than
welcome to borrow any of them. I'll grab some of the books
from my other places later."
"You mean there's more?"
"Quite a bit more, actually. Just let me get my computer,
and that should do it. Be right back." He walked back
into the Door, out of her sight.
She took a moment to look at the collection of books on the
shelves. Rogue was rather well-read herself, but she had found
little time for reading recently, being preoccupied with other
matters. Archetype, she decided, had the most eclectic tastes
in reading that she had ever seen. She found books on psychology,
archeology, history, art, philosophy, sociology, and architecture,
with a good amount of science fiction and fantasy novels thrown
in, and an occasional bestseller among all the clutter. She
was leafing through a dog-eared copy of Heinlein's Time
Enough for Love when he returned, pushing a wheeled computer
"You can keep that one if you like," he told her.
"I've got another copy lying around somewhere."
"Thanks," she replied. She took another look at
the bookshelves. "Aren't you a little old to be reading
"You're never too old for a good fairy tale. Most of
the old stories were never intended for children. What you
remember from your childhood are sanitized versions of the
originals. Remember what I said earlier about having walked
"I thought you might have been talking about those Doors
"No. I was talking about the dark parts of my soul.
We all have a dark side." He gestured to his psychology
books. "Jung was right on the money. He called the dark
half of our being the shadow. We all have one. It's a part
of our psyche that represents our base emotions, the selfishness
and anger that a well-adjusted person keeps in check. We're
raised to repress and ignore the shadow, not to control and
recognize its power. Once you confront and accept the dark
half of your soul, you can channel the tremendous creative
energy that it contains. I personally think that's why most
writers are so despondent. Confronting the shadow is a lot
of work, but I think it's worth it. The old stories, if you
look at them, deal a lot with confrontations with the shadow.
By looking at them in the right way, I can gain some insight
into the collective consciousness, and hopefully understand
my power a bit better."
Rogue nodded. "So these stories are the originals?"
"Most of them. Either that or modern retellings."
"What else will you be bringing over?"
He frowned. "My stereo and CDs should be it. I can get
them later today. By the way, when's dinner around here, generally?"
"We usually eat around seven, just after the news."
"Is there a small TV in the kitchen? I'll probably be
cooking, and I don't like to miss the news."
"We have one in the wall. It also ties into the communication
center down below, in case there's an emergency."
He nodded. "Good planning."
Rogue smiled. "You won't think so after you've missed
a few meals. Half the time, we get called down to the War
Room just as we're about to dig in. Well," she finished,
"I'll let you get to work. Just come downstairs if you
need any more help."
"I'll do that. I do have a question."
He looked at her pointedly. "Did Xavier assign you to
Rogue grimaced, deciding that it wouldn't pay to alienate
him on his first day among them. "He asked me to try
to learn what I could about your personality."
He tilted his head slightly, seeming to think about it. Then
he smiled. "Good. I'm glad to see some reasonable behavior.
See you at dinner."
"Let me make sure I understand," Xavier said a
few minutes later, when Rogue had reported to him and the
other senior members of the X-Men. "He was expecting
us to spy on him?"
Rogue shrugged. "It seems that way. I wouldn't call
him paranoid, but he's not exactly very trusting either."
"He did admit as much to us, Charles," Jean reminded
"True. Well, we'll see just what he's capable of soon
enough. Hank, I want you to set up a Danger Room session for
tomorrow morning for him. Use the settings that we used for
Kitty's first run."
"What else did you learn about him?" Xavier asked
"Not much. He has books on almost anything you could
think of, and paintings in a half-dozen styles of art, from
fantasy prints to somebody he said was named Rossetti."
"Dante Gabriel Rossetti," Hank offered. "A
nineteenth-century English artist."
"We went to what must have been one of his safehouses.
I never left the place - the weather outside sounded nasty
- but he said it was the on west coast of Ireland."
"You went through one of his 'Doors'?" Hank asked.
At her nod, he asked, "What was it like?"
"It wasn't really like anything, Hank. He told me that
when we were in that place, we were nowhere and everywhere
at the same time."
"That doesn't make sense."
"According to him, neither does life."
"Anything else we should know about?" Jean asked.
"He seems to have read a lot about Jungian psychology.
He has at least twenty books on the subject. He said that
they've helped him understand his own power better. That's
all I was able to get from him, Professor."
"That's actually not bad for our first day, Rogue. By
the way," he addressed the room, "I called Val about
an hour ago. 'William Riley' is not his original name."
"A false identity?" Scott asked.
Xavier looked at a sheet of paper in front of him. "No,
the name change was totally legal. He changed it after he
came down from his mountain. He also signed some checks under
the name Liam Raghallaigh," he continued, mangling the
"Can I see that, Chuck?" Logan asked. Xavier handed
him the paper. Logan read it for a moment, then handed it
back to Xavier. "No dice, Scott. That name's totally
legal. A few years ago, I saw Sean Cassidy sign some checks
to his bank in Ireland pretty weirdly, so I asked him about
it. In Ireland, a person can legally have two different names:
their birth name, and the Gaelic equivalent of the same name.
'Liam' is the Irish form of William. And Gaelic is a bitch
to pronounce. If you give Sean a call, I'll bet you five bucks
that the last name is pronounced 'Riley'."
"If there was no legal basis for the name change, then
why did he do it?" Scott asked.
"Maybe the fact that he came so close to death had something
to do with it," Ororo mused.
"What do you mean, Ororo?"
"I don't think that anyone who went through what he's
claimed to would come out of it the same person. Maybe the
name change represents a new beginning in his eyes. Or he
might be trying to protect his loved ones, the way the X-Men
did after we faced the Adversary."
"You could be right," Scott conceded. "We'll
have to ask him later. Was there anything else he said that
might be important, Rogue?"
"Well, he did give me a warning."
"Of what kind?" asked Ororo.
"He said that I don't want to try and absorb his powers.
He wasn't threatening or anything like that," she assured
them. "I think he really was concerned for my safety.
I get the feeling that there are some very nasty aspects to
his power that he hasn't told us about."
"Well, we may find out more during his Danger Room session
tomorrow," Xavier said, looking at his watch. "Let's
all get to dinner."
Because there was a new resident at the school, all of the
X-Men ate dinner at the mansion that night, a departure from
the usual lassiz-faire policy for the evening meal.
Betsy and Warren had teamed up for the meal that night, cooking
up a large pot roast with boiled vegetables and gravy. Archetype
had milled around the table aimlessly for a moment. "Is
there a set seating policy here?" he asked Bobby quietly.
"No, we just sit next to the person we want to talk
to for the length of the meal. Here, you can sit between me
and Rogue," he said, gesturing to a chair. Archetype
tipped his head in acknowledgment and sat down, nodding again
to Rogue as he did so.
Xavier, who was sitting at one end of the table, tapped his
fork on his glass to call for silence. "I want to be
the first to welcome Mr. Riley to the mansion. While his arrival
was a bit unusual, we hope that he will be able to contribute
in his own way towards our dream. Mr. Riley, welcome to the
school - and, perhaps, the X-Men." He raised his glass,
with the rest of the table following his lead. No one noticed
the frown on Scott's face as he joined the toast.
Archetype contributed little to the dinner conversation.
Rogue, noticing this, decided to try and draw him out and
turned towards him. "We don't take kindly to wallflowers
here, mister," she said jokingly.
"What?" he said, somewhat startled. "I'm sorry,
I was somewhere else. You were saying?"
"I was saying that we expect you to say something during
the meal. This is a house, not a cafeteria."
"All right," he said, "Let's start with a
few questions. What part of Mississippi are you from?"
As he asked this last question, his voice acquired a perfect
Mississippi drawl, causing both Rogue and Bobby to raise their
eyebrows in surprise.
"How did you do that?" Bobby asked him.
"I can't really learn foreign languages very well,"
he replied, "but I'm very good at recognizing and mimicking
accents. You," he said, his voice again changing, "are
from Long Island, while Xavier himself is a native of the
Westchester area." As he spoke, his voice changed to
reflect the accent of the area he was talking about. "I
can't place the origins of Storm or Wolverine yet," his
voice returning to its quasi-Irish lilt, "but given time,
I'll be able to mimic their accents as well."
"Is that Irish accent of yours real?" Bobby asked.
"Yes, but only because I spent the last three years
in Ireland. In a few weeks, my speech will change again, probably
becoming a mix of all of your accents combined. I think it's
another byproduct of my power."
"Weird," Bobby said.
"Very," he agreed.
Henry, who was sitting across from him, spoke up. "Is
there anything that we should know before your Danger Room
"Not that I can think of. I can assume that it's a safe
bet that you won't try to kill me on my first dry run. Besides,
if I think about it ahead of time, I'll screw up when the
time comes to actually do the deed."
"Why do you say that?" Bobby asked.
"I'm at my best when I think on my feet. If I plan ahead,
I wind up second guessing myself when the crunch comes, and
the end result is usually that I wind up being paralyzed.
I've found that I do better if I trust my intuition."
Henry nodded. "So you're an intuitive thinker?"
"I.N.F.P.," Archetype replied.
"Excuse me," Rogue said, "but I didn't quite
"I did," Henry told her. "I'll explain later."
They all changed the subject to various small talk.
As dinner ended, Archetype offered to help Ororo and Bishop
with cleaning up. As the other members broke up, Rogue tapped
Henry on the shoulder. "Why was he spouting letters at
you before?" she asked him.
He smiled. "He was telling me, in his own way, that
he's going to be a difficult man to get to know well. Those
letters are his score on a popular psychological test called
the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The test measures the type
of personality that an individual has."
"So what does that score mean?"
"Well," he said, as they sat down in the living
room, "I'll take it one part at a time. 'I' means that
he's an introvert. As you've already noticed, that means he'll
tend to be quiet and unassuming, and won't ever become a social
butterfly. 'N' means, as he mentioned earlier, that he's an
intuitive thinker. 'F' stands for feelings, and means that
he's more likely to be interested in how things will affect
people emotionally than with the bottom line. And 'P' stands
for Perceiver, meaning that he sees things in relative terms,
rather than in absolute categories of black and white."
"He mentioned as much earlier," she recalled. "So,
how does that affect how we should treat him?"
"For now, I think it would be best if we let him set
his own boundaries with us. If he wants to be involved with
us on a non-professional basis, he'll say as much."
"Non-professional basis? You make it sound like this
is a nine to five job."
"I have a feeling that he may hold that very view about
all this for now. He just got here today, Rogue. Allow him
a few days to get used to all of us. Besides, we'll all need
time to get used to him."
"Well, I noticed that Scott doesn't seem to like him.
Any ideas why?"
"I think that Scott's angry because he circumvented
our security so easily. Sometimes he takes his job too seriously.
And Scott's a very down to earth, practical individual. Archetype
seems to take a more philosophical view of his power."
"Given what his power is, does he have a choice?"
"You may have a point. Did he mention anything to you
about his background?"
"No, but I didn't ask, either. I don't think that I'm
the person to try to look into a mysterious past."
"Because of your own background?"
She nodded affirmatively, then lay back a bit on the couch.
"The X-Men have all been really good about my wanting
to keep my past private. I owe him the same respect."
As she spoke, she noticed Archetype starting up the main flight
of stairs. "Hitting the sack early?" she asked him.
"Getting killed in the afternoon tends to tire me out
by evening," he replied. "Besides, if my first training
session is tomorrow, I want to be well-rested. When's reveille
"Around seven," Henry told him. "Wolverine
is usually up with the sun."
"Well, I'll be up just after five, so I can get a run
in. I'll see about breakfast when I'm done. Good night, all."
He continued up the stairs.
"Good night," they both echoed after him.
"Well, he had a busy first day," Henry observed.
"No argument there," Rogue replied. "You think
he'll fit in here?"
"I don't know, but it'll be interesting finding out."
As Archetype undressed for bed, he noticed that the moon
was just rising in the sky. He gazed at it for a moment, turned
out the light, then bowed his head slightly, whispering to
himself for a moment. His words were inaudible, but the last
few words sounded like "At the end of desire." He
climbed under the bedsheets, then looked at the moon again.
"Not a bad start," he said to himself. "We'll
see how it goes from here. Good night, mother." He then
Continued in Chapter
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