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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


"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 now bare.

"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 it?"

"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 Rogue..."

"Just Rogue."

"...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 another room."

"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 cart.

"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 fairy tales?"

"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 through darkness?"

"I thought you might have been talking about those Doors of yours."

"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."

"What's that?"

He looked at her pointedly. "Did Xavier assign you to shadow me?"

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 him.

"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 Rogue.

"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 last name.

"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 session tomorrow?"

"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 catch that."

"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 here?"

"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 fell asleep.


Continued in Chapter 4


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