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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


"He seems to use deception to gain a tactical edge," Henry remarked after Bobby and Rogue had briefed the other senior team members on the events of that evening.

Rogue nodded. "I don't think there was ever anything wrong with his leg. He used the cane to carry a weapon in plain sight. I doubt he'll use the same trick in front of us again, though."

"You're probably right," Logan replied. "He's more likely to use it in public, when we have to go incognito. For a guy with no training, he seems to know what he's doing. What was his fighting style like?"

Bobby frowned. "Nothing definable. It was actually pretty standard stuff - leg sweeps, blocks, stuff like that. He knew how to use that cane, though. Reminded me of your stick fighting style, Ororo."

Ororo shook her head. "I don't think that's possible, Robert. I learned how to fight like that when I was a girl, as a thief with Achmed on the streets of Cairo, and he only taught it to his prize pupils. Archetype could not have learned it."

"Now that we know about his combat skills in more detail, maybe he'll agree to a demonstration," Xavier mused. He punched the intercom button on his desk. "Xavier to Archetype."

There was a brief pause, then Archetype's voice came over the speaker. "Yes, Xavier?"

"Would you be opposed to a demonstration of your stick fighting skills?"

"Not at all. What sort of setting?"

"How about a one-on-one against Storm?"

Another pause. "All right. Advise her to wear some form of protective clothing. And some headgear with a face mask. Archetype out."

Ororo frowned. "Why would I need a face mask?"

Two minutes into the combat session, Ororo understood why.

It had started simply enough. Archetype, who had walked in wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt, had simply deflected whatever strikes Ororo used against him, declining obvious openings for offensive moves. At one point, she got through his defenses, striking with a rather nasty crack against the back of his legs. He buckled slightly at that point, falling to his knees without a sound.

He stayed there for a moment, eyes closed, not moving. Ororo was afraid that she had seriously hurt him. He then opened his eyes, looking at her.

"[Come now, little one. You can do better than that,]" he said to her in Egyptian, his eyes glowing.

Ororo was suddenly filled with an irrational anger. She was good enough! She could prove it! She would not be laughed at again! She gritted her teeth and pressed her attack, which Archetype parried easily. He then jumped out of her range.

"[Here. I will make it easier for you,]" he continued in a taunting tone. He drew the sweatband which he was wearing over his eyes, effectively blindfolding himself. "[Surely you can hit a defenseless target.]" Ororo gritted her teeth and closed in for a strike.

Archetype moved in a flash, parrying her thrust. He followed through on the move, reversing the position of his stick, thrusting the opposite end of the stick directly towards her face. Despite the fact that she was wearing a face mask, Ororo flinched involuntarily. Archetype took advantage of her temporary loss of bearing by leaping to his feet. As he did so, he altered the direction of his thrust so that the first foot of the stick whizzed right through where Ororo would have been. He then swept her right leg with his left, while simultaneously pushing her off balance by sweeping his stick to the right. Ororo, who was usually as graceful as a cat, landed unceremoniously on the floor in a sprawl.

Archetype thrusted downward with his stick at a point about three inches away from Ororo's nose. The stick impacted with enough force to splinter.

"Had I not altered my point of aim," he told her matter of factly, now speaking English, "your cranium would now be ventilated." He removed the sweatband, then helped her to her feet. "Good match, though."

"Yes, thank you," Ororo replied absently, as she struggled to regain her bearings.

Archetype looked up at Xavier and Henry, who were visible from the observation window. "Any objections if I call it a night?" he asked them.

"No," Xavier replied in a weary voice. "We'll start you on psionic training in the morning at eight-thirty. Good night."


"All right, Storm," Scott asked her, "just what happened down there? You never lose your temper in the middle of a training session like that."

"I'm not entirely sure myself," she replied thoughtfully. "With a few words, he made me feel like I was an eight-year old again, back in Cairo, still under the training of Achmed. My responses were the same as they were back then. For that matter," she grimaced, "so was the end result. Achmed used to beat me just as easily as Archetype just did. By the way, Bobby was right. His technique is very similar to my own, although there were a few moves I was unfamiliar with. His fighting style seems to be a synthesis of many differing combat techniques."

"He also seems to be very skilled at using psychological techniques to gain an edge in combat," Henry remarked.

"That's hardly surprising, given the fact that he holds an associates degree in counseling psychology," Xavier replied. "One of my sources informed me this afternoon."

"Does he have a specialty?" Hank asked.

"His background seems to be a bit eclectic. He took the classes here and there over a period of years. His background is Jungian, but he seems to be very well informed about his own condition - attention deficit disorder. He attends most of the lectures on the subject in this country."

"Is he licensed?"

"Not in New York."

"Chef, counselor... he seems to have had a lot of schooling," Jean observed.

"He's a dabbler," Scott grunted. "Doesn't follow through on anything."

"Do you have any evidence to support that conclusion, Scott?" Xavier asked him evenly.

"No," Scott replied glumly. "Look, Charles, I'll be honest with you. I don't like him... and I can't tell you why. He hasn't said or done anything which should make me suspicious - but I still am. His attitude just grates on me."

"Because it's so different from your own?" Hank asked him.

Scott frowned. "What do you mean?"

"Archetype is very casual about the use of his abilities. He's used them to acquire wealth and power, but as far as we've been able to find, he doesn't throw his weight around. He just coasts along, allowing events to happen around him. He hasn't taken a direct role in the affairs of anything until recently."

"That's exactly it," Scott said. "Why hasn't he done anything with his power and wealth to help mutants?"

"Because he's not a mutant, Scott."

Scott was taken aback by that. "Then where do his abilities come from?"

Hank shrugged. "I don't know yet. I asked him to give me a cell sample this morning so I could study his genetic structure. He's not a mutant - not in our sense of the term, anyway. His A.D.D. is due to a mutation, but it's not on the X-factor gene. That gene isn't active in his system. His abilities could be magical in nature, but I need more time to determine if that's true or not."

"If he's not a mutant, then why does he want to join the X-Men?"

"Why don't we just take what he said to us at face value, Scott?" Ororo asked him. "He wants to make a difference, and he thinks that he'd be most effective with us."

"Whatever his motives are," Xavier said, "We really don't have any choice but to keep him around. If the psychic energy that I felt during his Danger Room session was any indicator of his ability, then he's far too dangerous an individual to be going around untrained. Valerie was right. He's a powerful weapon, and we have to make sure that he's under control."

The next morning, Archetype entered Xavier's study at precisely eight-thirty. "How do you want to do this?" he asked Xavier.

"Just sit down and relax," he was advised. "We aren't going to start out with anything too taxing. The purpose of the initial tests is to determine the limits of your natural mental abilities. They will also get you used to the sensations of mental probing and telepathic communication."

"Fair enough," Archetype replied as he sat down across from Xavier and Jean, looking around the room as he did so. "No electronic monitoring?"

Xavier shook his head. "It won't tell us anything that we can't learn on our own. I doubt it would do any good in your case, anyway. When I reviewed your session from earlier, I noticed that when your mental powers were active, there was a bit of static on the monitors."

Archetype frowned. "Psychic interference?"

Jean nodded. "It's not uncommon among psis. Some psychic functions operate at electromagnetic wavelengths that are close to those used by electronic equipment, so their use interferes with more delicate components."

Archetype nodded absently. "That might explain my effect on electronics. Rogue told you about the streetlight last night?"

"Yes," Xavier replied. "I think the reason why that sort of thing happens to you frequently is that your powers aren't fully under your control. If you can learn to restrict them to a narrower space, then that sort of thing should happen less frequently."

"Sounds reasonable," Archetype replied, closing his eyes.

"You're ready?" Xavier asked him.

"All set."

"Shall we fire at Will?" Jean asked in a teasing voice.

"I'm going to ignore that."

"All right, seriously now, let's begin."

Xavier and Jean extended the telepathic 'feelers' which they constantly had active from long training, and reached out towards Archetype's mind.

Do you sense anything unusual, Jean? Xavier asked her as they approached.

Not yet, she replied, but we're not there yet, either. Here we go...

Contact. -WhatinthehellisgoingtohappenheremanI'mtiredshouldn'tbe

Are you making any sense out of this? Xavier asked Jean.

No, it's the same as before. His thoughts are going all over the place. Can you get any deeper?

No. I can't find any pathways. Let's break contact.

They both withdrew from their telepathic probes and relaxed. "We're done," Xavier said.

Archetype opened his eyes. "You two must be very subtle. I didn't feel a thing."

"That's because we never entered you're mind," Xavier said with some asperity. "We weren't able to penetrate your defenses."

"What defenses? I wasn't resisting you at all."

"Maybe not," Jean said a bit more calmly than Xavier, "but we weren't able to get past your surface thoughts. You see," she explained, "a telepath looks for what Charles and I call 'pathways' in order to enter the mind of another. It's sort of like finding a door to enter an unfamiliar building. Your thoughts were shifting so quickly, we couldn't find any pathways which could lead us deeper into your mind."

Archetype brooded for a minute. "Would you two be open to a suggestion?"

"We always listen to suggestions," Xavier replied. "We may not do anything with them, but we will listen to them."

"I think that what you just encountered is a result of my A.D.D.. You might have better results if I'm wear myself out."

"You just lost me," Jean told him.

"You probably picked the worst time possible to try this. It takes me a good two hours after getting up to focus my mind to any appreciable extent. Some of the chemicals which the human body produces during exercise allow people with A.D.D. to regain some sense of focus. I've noticed that my mind tends to be slightly clearer after I exercise, so why don't we try again after my weight session with Wolverine? About half an hour afterward should do it."

Xavier nodded. "All right. See you then. By the way," he added as Archetype started to get up. "Have you decided on a uniform?"

Archetype looked puzzled. "Uniform? I thought I was on probation."

"It may be necessary for you to go out with the X-Men on a mission if we're short on people. You should have a uniform in case of that possibility. Ask Rogue or Bobby to show you our CAD/CAM equipment."

"Right. See you at lunch."

After he had closed the door behind him, Xavier turned to Jean. "He had the most stringent defenses I've ever encountered in a psi-blind person, except for Magnus, of course."

"Are you sure he's psi-blind, Charles? We never really attacked him, just scanned him."

Xavier blinked. "Good point. We'll try a mild attack soon."

Two hours later, Archetype found Rogue and Bobby in the sitting room. "Xavier said I should go about making myself a team uniform. Could you show me where this tailor from hell is located?"

"No problem," Rogue said with a smile. "Follow us." She led the way to the elevator, and they made their way down to the sub-levels.

"This may be a silly question," Archetype said as they exited, "but what do you guys do if the power goes out? Never mind, I just figured it out. Your power is on an independent grid, right?"

"Right," Bobby said. "We have a geothermal power tap that goes down a few miles."

"Who did you guys get your technology from? Mister Wizard?"

"It's a long story," Rogue told him. "We'll explain later. We're here."

"Here" was the Shiar molecular transformation chamber where the X-Men produced most of their high-technology equipment.

"How does this thing work?" Archetype asked.

"Just open the door and walk in," Bobby instructed him. "Empty your pockets and take off your shoes, so the computer gets an accurate measurement of your height."

"What are you wearing under the turtleneck?" Rogue asked.

"Nothing, why?"

She grimaced. "You'll have to take that off, too. The neck of that thing'll interfere with the measurements."

Archetype shrugged. "All right." He removed the shirt, again showing the scars on his back.

Bobby, who was seeing them for the first time, winced. "That must have hurt."


"Those scars."

"Oh." He shrugged again. "They're the only part of me that hasn't healed completely from my accident. I think it's because I can't see the injured area very well. If I can see where I've been injured, and examine the extent of the wound, I usually heal cleaner and faster. What do I do once I get in this thing?"

"Just stand on the crosshairs and close your eyes while the lasers measure you," Rogue told him. "It should only take about a minute." Archetype nodded and entered, closing the door behind him.

"That thing scans right through any non-living material on default settings," Bobby said to Rogue in a quiet voice. "He didn't have to take off his shirt."

"I knew that," she said with a small smile, "but he didn't. It gave me an excuse to see his bod. If you hadn't opened your big mouth, I would have gotten a good look at his butt, too."

"You're a very naughty girl," Bobby told her, also smiling.

"We all have our faults," she shrugged. When the scanner finished its cycle, she opened the door. "Come on out."

"What's the next step?" Archetype asked as he slipped back into his shoes.

"That's up to you," Rogue replied. She frowned a moment, then touched the communication board. "Rogue to Xavier."

"Xavier here," the intercom answered.

"We need two senior team members to give Archetype access to the computer system."

"Jean and I can do it from here. Archetype, stand by the intercom, would you?"

"All right, I'm here."

"Computer, Priority Access modification, voice code Xavier One-Alpha. Acknowledge."

"Acknowledged," The computer replied.

"Computer," Jean's voice said, "Priority Access modification, voice code Phoenix Blue-One. Acknowledge."


"Create new file, name Archetype, for tertiary access. Pause. What we want you to do now, Archetype, is to speak constantly for about one minute, so the computer can get a record of your voice pattern."

"Should I say anything in particular?"

"You don't have to. Just say anything that comes into your head. Try quoting from a story that you know."

Archetype furrowed his brow for a moment. "All right. I'm ready."

"Computer," Jean's voice said, "Execute." There was a short beep, similar to the tone of an answering machine.

"True," Archetype exclaimed, "nervous... very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses - not destroyed - not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily - how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

"It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture - a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees - very gradually - I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever." He paused. "How's that?"

"Uh... fine," Jean said. "Computer, Commit pattern to memory. Execute. Confirm pattern."

"Confirmed," the computer replied. "New file Archetype recognized and committed to memory."

"All right, you're set," Jean told him. "By the way, what was that quote you used from?"

"The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe."

"I thought I recognized it. Bobby, can you two handle it from here?"

"No problem, Jean. Bobby out." The intercom clicked off. "Can we leave you alone now?"

"I guess so," Archetype said dubiously. "How do I work this thing?"

"Just describe what you want to the computer. Computer, create holographic wire frame model of dimensions corresponding to pattern Archetype." A hologram appeared in front of them, which looked like a dark grey grid mannequin. "Just tell the computer what you want on this model, then tell it to make you a uniform corresponding to the pattern, with whatever colors you want."

"All right. See you two later."

After they left, Archetype told the computer, "All right, computer. Open primary file Uniform under account Archetype. Open secondary file...Personal Weaponry."

Later, at lunch, everyone started to sit down. "Where's Archetype?" asked Henry. "I haven't seen him since his physical."

Rogue and Bobby looked at each other. "He couldn't still be down there, could he?" she asked.

"He's not," a voice said behind her. They all turned around as Archetype entered the room.

"Well?" He asked. "What do you think?"

He was wearing grey pants with black boots. His shirt - or was it a jacket? - was charcoal grey, and fit tightly on his frame. The collar was high, cut close to the neck, and two small 'X' - shaped pins, similar in design to U.S. Army insignia, were attached to it. Over it, he wore a grey coat that reached the tops of the boots. His black leather gloves were held in his hands. The ensemble was topped off by a black fedora, perched slightly off-kilter on his head.

"You look like a cybertech Mountie," Logan told him. "Why a hat?"

"I just feel more comfortable wearing a coat and hat. It might be because hats only went out of style about forty years ago. Or, maybe I'm just a retro kind of guy. The coat conceals whatever weapons I might carry - and one other item I developed."

"Two questions," Xavier said. "What weapons, and what item?"

"Well, the weapons will probably change, depending on who we're going up against, but for now..." He opened the coat, pulling out a broadsword, a Glock-7, and five daggers. He then reached down towards his boots, and pulled out two more daggers.

"What about the other two in your boots?" Bishop asked him.

"Nonremovable. I'll use them for climbing, or as a last-ditch attack."

"Those daggers are British paratrooper design, aren't they?" Logan asked.

Archetype nodded. "In my experience, they're the best design around. They're efficient, sleek, and balanced for throwing."

"But you're very vulnerable to a magnetic attack," Henry pointed out.

"Not all of these blades are metal. Some are made from composites, others are resin, and two are carbon fiber."

"What about the gun?" Xavier asked.

"To be used only in emergencies. I have three clips of standard rounds, and four of tranquilizer-loaded plastic rounds."

"Anything else?"

He removed the coat. His shirt was crossed with a series of metallic 'ribs' that moved along with him.

"What the hell are those?" Bobby asked him.

"They serve a few purposes. The first one is damage control. These will help hold my body together long enough for me to heal, if I ever suffer major injury. There's also a simple wire and cable system which slightly magnifies my strength. And lastly," he continued, "is weapons storage." He flicked his left wrist slightly. There was a slight click!, and a dagger flew into his hand.

"Very impressive, Archetype," Xavier said, "if a bit overly dependent on weaponry."

"I started from the assumption that my powers wouldn't be working, and worked up from there."

"Probably not a bad idea. No electronics, I noticed."

"Given my scrambling effect, I figured it would be an exercise in futility. The only electronic item I plan to carry is a communicator."

"Reasonable," Xavier agreed.

"The effect is a bit... dark, though, isn't it?" Rogue asked him.

"I tend, Rogue," Archetype said seriously, "to be a very dark man."

"You'll have a chance to test out the equipment this afternoon," Xavier said. "You're scheduled for a group session at four. Why don't you get changed before you sit down?"

"All right," Archetype said, and disappeared.

"Now that," Warren said, "was the most extreme costume I've seen around here in a while."

"Not really," Logan disagreed. "He took a lot of elements from various military uniforms. The boots were a lot like jump boots, and the trench coat was Russian."

"The exoskeleton was an ingenious idea, I have to admit," Henry said. "He solved the problem of strength enhancement without using anything that could be turned against him. I think I'm safe in guessing that he used composites for that as well. The only weakness I can see is the lack of protection for his head."

"Most of us run the same risk, Hank," Bobby pointed out. "By the way, how did his physical turn out?"

"I'd rather not talk about it," Henry said glumly.

"Oh come on, it didn't go that badly, did it?"

Henry looked at Rogue. "When Archetype did his run yesterday, how winded did he seem at the end to you?"

Rogue thought about it for a moment. "Not very. He recovered pretty quickly."

"That's an understatement if I ever heard one." He looked at Xavier. "I asked him to do a brief run so I see how his body reacted to stress. In the middle of his run, while he was doing about seventy-five kilometers an hour, he flatlined."

Xavier, who was drinking his water at the moment, choked slightly. "He what!?"

"His heart rate and breathing stopped... cold. They just quit. Most of his neurological functions remained the same, except for his EEG. That became even more complex than it was before. He entered the deepest theta state that I've ever seen in a person who wasn't drugged. His body just kept on running. When he was done running, he slowed down and took a deep breath, his vitals started up again, and his brainwaves returned to normal." Hank snorted. "Whatever that means in a case like him."

Just as Hank finished talking, Archetype walked into the room, dressed in the clothing he had worn earlier in the day. "Normal is boring, Hank. I prefer to be unpredictable."

"Being legally dead is about as unpredictable as you can get," Xavier agreed. "How did you do it?"

"When I'm at an accelerated time rate for long periods of time, I stop using chemical energy. I seem to get my strength from... somewhere else. Don't ask me where, because I have no more idea than you do. As for the EEG... well, my mind sort of... 'retreats', I guess. I sort of lose myself within the collective consciousness, letting my thoughts drift within it. When I come back from wherever it is that I go, my body goes back to a more normal state. That's why I don't usually use my heightened reflexes on short notice. It takes me a moment to adjust my thinking and perceptions. If I don't get that prep time, it's a much greater strain on my systems - both physical and mental."

"What happens if you overtax yourself?" Warren asked.

Archetype shrugged. "I age."

"That's it? You age? Everybody ages."

Archetype shook his head. "You don't understand. Do you know what the term tanstaafl means?"

"I do," Bobby said. "It's from Heinlein, isn't it?"

"Yes. It's short for 'There ain't no such thing as a free lunch'. It's essentially an idiot version of the Law of Conservation of Energy. What it means is that you can't get something without giving something in return. If I exert myself too much, I pay for it by losing a bit of my own life energy, and I age as a result. My abilities, however, eventually restore my youth."

"Wait a minute," Rogue said. "Are you trying to tell us that you actually get younger?"

"That's right. It's a long process, and not very pleasant for me, but it does happen." His eyes became distant for a moment. "You'll see it happen soon enough. Shall we eat now?"

Two hours later, in the Danger Room, Archetype found himself surrounded by Rogue, Archangel, Wolverine, and Psylocke. "What's the purpose of this scenario again?" he asked.

"We want to see how you do against a superior force in purely physical combat," Xavier told him. "Psylocke won't be using her mental powers for this exercise. Your goal is to take down at least one of your opponents."

"Define 'take down'."

"Immobilize, knock out, or otherwise disable them."

"All right. Let's get at it."

"You sure you're ready, rookie?" Logan asked. "Immortal or not, I still plan to take a piece of you."

"You're certainly welcome to try." Archetype replied.

"This shouldn't take long," Warren said. "It's just a simple cat-and-mouse game."

Then Archetype smiled. "Well, let's make things interesting then... and make all the cats grey."

Then he pulled out his gun.

"Lights out."

He aimed at the lights in the ceiling and shot them, shattering the glass and plunging the room in blackness. The sound of one of the light racks falling was deafening.

The others milled about in confusion for a moment.

"What the hell..."

"Where is he..."

"Shut up and listen... ow, what was that..."

"What was it, Betsy, what hit ow!..."

"He's moving around the room hey he just went by me..."

"Stay frosty people, he's tagging us somehow oof..."

Then Archetype's voice, seemingly everywhere in the blackness at once:

"The hunt is on."

"Watch it, people," Wolverine said, "he's planning somesquarrrkkk..." Wolverine's voice died out in a strangle of static.

"He got Logan!" Archangel shouted. "Look out, he's moving asquarrkk..." Archangel was silenced in an instant.

"Warren!" Psylocke screamed. "You son of a bitch, if you've hurt him, I'll screech..."

"Betsy!" Rogue exclaimed. "Professor, help me out here, where the hell is Arkkkkkkk..." Rogue's voice was reduced to a dry rasping.

Silence. No movement. No life.

"What the hell just happened in there?" Scott gaped.

"I don't know, Scott," Xavier replied in a dazed voice.

Then they heard Archetype's voice over the intercom.

"Shall we end this charade?"

"Computer," Xavier ordered, "restore lighting."

The light returned. What they saw was horrifying.

Archangel was trapped waist-deep within one of the walls, one wing pinned in the wall, the other flailing uselessly. Wolverine was sprawled on his back, his hands, claws extended, impaling his bodiless head. Psylocke was staring stupidly at her lower torso, which was jerking spasmodically five feet in front of her. And Rogue had been fused with the fallen lighting fixture. Her groping hand was pulling her forward, with the fixture, passing right through the back of her head and out her mouth, being dragged along for the ride.

"I would say," Archetype said casually as he leaned against a wall, "that the battle is over."


Continued in Chapter Seven


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