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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


The next morning, Rogue woke up a bit later than usual, coming to consciousness gradually. She found herself in that state where one is halfway between dream and wakefulness. She reviewed her night with Archetype - no, Will - in her mind. Idly, she wondered if he would be interested in a second date. 

She was startled awake by a knock on her door. She got up, pulled her oversize T-shirt straight, and cracked open the door.

Ororo was on the other side. "Are you all right, Rogue?" she asked. "You don’t usually sleep this late."

Rogue beamed in response. "Storm, I feel great! Come on in," she said, opening the door fully. Ororo walked in and sat down on the chair by Rogue’s desk.

"You seem cheerful this morning. I take it your date went well."

Rogue thought a moment. "I’m not even sure if it was a date - at least in his eyes. Anyway, it was wonderful! We went to a gallery, ate out at a cafe.... and he bought me this!" she picked up the stag, which she had placed on her night table, and showed it to Ororo. "It cost a ridiculous amount of money, but he said he’s so loaded, he’ll never miss it...."

Ororo laughed. "Slow down, Rogue. You sound like a teenager. Did Archetype tell you anything about himself?"

Rogue took a deep breath, forcing herself to calm down, but she still felt giddy. "For one thing, he’d prefer it if we call him Will. He’ll call each of us by our code names, or Mister or Ms., until he considers us friends. To be honest, we didn’t talk all that much." She smiled slightly. "I guess I’ll have to go out with him a few more times to learn anything more."

"You’re a charlatan, Rogue," Ororo said, smiling, as she stood up. "Hank wanted me to remind you about your physical. You and Archetype - sorry, Will - will have a debriefing with both him and the Professor afterwards."

"Okay. Tell Hank I’ll be down in about fifteen - no, make it twenty minutes. I’ll wake up Will."

"You’ll miss breakfast, you realize."

"I had a big meal last night. I’ll be fine. See you later."

Rogue took a quick shower, put on a T-shirt and cutoffs, and went over to Archetype’s room. When there was no response to her knock, she opened the door and peered in. He was still in bed, sprawled on his back, head buried underneath a pillow. She tiptoed over to the side of the bed and watched him for a moment. 

He was totally dead to the world. She studied his body underneath the sheets, looking at him from head (or neck) to toe. His body, she decided, could best be described as efficient. He wasn’t in any way a mass of muscle like Peter or Logan, but there wasn’t an ounce of fat on him, either. He had what the Professor had once described as an Apollonian physique, which was designed for stealth and flexibility rather than brute strength.

As her eyes traveled to his waist, she realized that he wasn’t wearing anything underneath the sheets. After an inner struggle (which, she had to admit to herself, was rather short-lived), she took hold of the edge of the sheet, and started to slowly lift it up.

"I’m sorry, madam, but the management’s policy is that there is to be no viewer interaction with the exhibits."

Rogue jumped back quickly, blushing furiously. "I’m.... I was just.... I...."

"No, don’t tell me. Let me guess," he said as he lifted up the pillow. His hair was tousled and his eyes bleary, but a twinkle could still be seen in them. "As part of your assignment from Xavier to learn about me, you were trying to determine whether I was Jewish or not."

Rogue fled at that point.

Ten minutes later, Archetype came down into the kitchen. "Hullo," he said blearily to Xavier.

"Good morning," Xavier replied.

"Please don’t use that phrase around me, Xavier. I am a firm believer that those two words belong together as much as the phrase ‘government intelligence’."

"That’s right," Henry put in. "I forgot that you’re not a morning person."

"That’s not true," Archetype objected. "I am a morning person.... one to three in the morning."

"If you like, we could delay your debriefing for a while," Xavier offered.

"There’s no need," he replied. "I just need an hour or two to get my mental house in order. I’ll be fine."

"Where’s Rogue?" Bobby asked.

"Last I saw her," Betsy said, "she was heading back to her room. She was muttering something about maintaining a hands-off policy." The amazing thing was that Archetype managed to keep a straight face.

Since it was raining that morning, Archetype decided to do his morning run on a treadmill that Henry set up for him in the Danger Room. After he had finished his katas, he entered the debriefing room, where Xavier, Henry, and Rogue were waiting for him. "Sorry if I’m late," he muttered.

"Don’t worry about it," Xavier replied. "Given how chaotic things are here at times, we aren’t sticklers for punctuality. Have a seat." After Archetype was comfortably settled in one of the overstuffed chairs, Xavier activated the room’s main console, along with three of the smaller ones underneath it. "Let me explain a bit about how we run our review sessions before we get started. We keep a camera and a scanner array focused on each individual training participant, as a way of analyzing mutant abilities, combat skill, and physical condition. We also use a wide-angle scan to analyze team performance as a whole."

"Understood," Archetype assured him. "Did you learn anything interesting during our run yesterday?"

"Well," Henry said evasively, "yes and no. Our readings of you, Rogue, were very complete, and frankly, given how much information we have on your abilities, they yielded no surprises."

"What about him?" Rogue asked.

"He’s a problem. We don’t have much, and what we do have raises more questions than it answers."

Archetype frowned. "I don’t understand. You were scanning me the entire time, weren’t you?"

"The entire time you were here, yes," Xavier answered. "Unfortunately, you spent very little time here during the session."

Understanding dawned on Archetype’s face. "You couldn’t track me while I was in transit." It was not a question.

"Exactly. Because of that, all of our readings are a bit spotty. I’m going to contact Forge in Washington to see if he can help us get around that problem. In the meantime, we’ll be cross referencing our data on you with our files of Nightcrawler’s teleportation process to see if we can find any parallels."

Archetype shrugged. "Whatever you think is best, Xavier. I may have an ego, but I’m smart enough to let you do your work without interfering. As long as you let me know what your results are, and try to keep the files as secure as possible, I have no problem with your sharing your information."

"You surprise me, Archetype," Henry admitted. "I would expect you to be fanatical about your privacy."

"Normally I am, but I knew that when I joined this outfit, I’d have to make some sacrifices. This will be a relatively minor one. Now, what are some of your unanswered questions?" 

"Well," Xavier said, tapping at his keyboard, "your E.K.G. became a bit unusual at the beginning of the session."

"How so?"

"It attained the same state as during your run yesterday," Henry informed him. "Your brain patterns became much more complex."

"I can’t give you a precise answer on that," Archetype replied. "All I have to work with is a theory."

"We’ll take what we can get."

"The collective unconscious, by definition, is present in all people to some degree or another. I think that my connection with it is, for some reason, a much more intimate one than normal. When I’m in an unfamiliar situation, I achieve a state which might be considered a reverse nirvana. Instead of being totally focused, I become highly unfocused, letting my intuition guide me completely. 

"Now, intuition can be described as a mental process which utilizes the subconscious, rather than the conscious, functions of the brain. Because I draw information from the collective unconscious, in addition to my own, my brain wave pattern would logically be more complex."

Henry thought for a moment, then looked at Xavier. "I could accept that as a working theory."

"So could I." He looked at Archetype. "If your theory is correct, your dreams would be very complex."
"You have no idea. I spend a lot of my waking hours trying to figure out just what my dreams mean. I have dreams where I deal with archetypes using aspects that have no relation to Western culture, so I usually have no idea just what their significance is. I’ve been doing some study on Eastern religions and mythologies to fill that gap in my knowledge."

"I did some traveling in the Orient about fifteen years ago," Xavier informed him. "I’ll see if I have anything that could be of some use to you."

"I’d appreciate it. I had one dream last month that I think had something to do with the cult of Kali." He shuddered. "I still get chills thinking about it."

"Let’s move on," Henry announced. "I noticed that you used a combination of your Doors and teleportation for during the session."

"Yes. If an object is moving - or if I am - it’s easier for me to use a Door than to teleport."

"Why’s that?" Rogue asked.

"A Door is a pretty simple thing to construct. It’s just a connection point between two places. When I teleport an object, however, it’s a field effect, and I need a moment to get the dimensions of the ‘hole’ that the object makes in space-time. If the object is moving, the shape of that ‘hole’ is constantly changing. It’s much easier for me to create a Door, and let the object fall into it."

"That raises another question," Henry remarked. "Kurt - you may know him better as Nightcrawler - has always had problems with teleporting against the pull of gravity. Teleporting straight up is, for him, the hardest thing to accomplish. Do you have that problem?"

"Not that I’ve been able to find. In fact, one of the first tests that I gave myself, once I realized what I was capable of, was to teleport about one or two miles into the air. My logic was that I’d be much less likely to run into anything solid."

"Sensible," Xavier agreed. "Did you have any problems?"

"None. Actually, I may use that method if I ever find myself in free fall. If I fall down into a Door, and come out falling up, then I can reduce my velocity quickly, then teleport down to ground level when my velocity hits zero."

"Or into Blackbird Gold," Henry added. "It has V-TOL capabilities."

"That could work, too. Shall we continue?"

Xavier nodded. "That pretty much covers our questions for you at this point. The rest of our questions are for you, Rogue."

"All right, shoot."

"You’re the only one of us to have direct experience with Archetype’s teleportation process. How would you describe the experience?"

Rogue pursed her lips for a moment. "There’s not much to say, Professor. There were a lot of flashes of light, like what you’d see if you were looking right at a camera as someone took a picture of you. Then I felt a jerk..."

"I swear I never touched you," Archetype interrupted. She elbowed him in the stomach.

"It was like being grabbed and dragged along for a short distance. It took the breath right out of me. After that happened a few times...."

"Wait a minute," Henry interjected. "You were teleporting for only a few seconds."

"Uh uh," she disagreed. "It went on for about two minutes."

"I think I can clear this up," Archetype offered. "Remember what I told you my first day here. Time has little meaning when I, or anyone else, is in transit. You," he said, looking at Rogue, "spent a greater amount of subjective time in transit than actual objective time elapsed."

"Did you get that?" Rogue asked Henry.

"I think he lost me on that sharp left at the end."

"Anyway," Rogue continued, "each time it happened, I got a little more tired. By the time it was over, I was exhausted, and dizzy as hell. I just couldn’t stay on my feet after that."

"A state in concordance with your description of the process yesterday," Henry said, looking at Archetype. He looked at his notes. "Well, that concludes my questions. Any comments, Rogue?"

"Just one," she said, "and it’s for Archetype. Would one teleport have that sort of effect?"

He shook his head. "No. The disorientation effect from one transit is negligible."

"We might want to look into finding a way for you to send us to a safe area if case one of us gets injured in combat. It might be a way for us to avoid another Morlock Massacre."

"I’d heard rumors about the Morlocks," Archetype said, frowning, "but I couldn’t manage a teleport of that scale. There would be too many people involved."

"She doesn’t mean the Morlocks themselves," Xavier clarified. "Three of our members were severely injured in combat during the Massacre. Had we been able to help them in time, they might not have taken so long to recover. If you can evacuate our wounded to Muir Island, then we would have a better chance of helping them."

"Now that’s something that I’ve been meaning to ask you about," Archetype said, straightening up in his chair. "If I’m to do that sort of thing, I’ll need three things from you to help me."

Xavier’s eyes narrowed. "Such as?"

"One: I need some sort of telemetry aid that I can use to pinpoint my own location. If I don’t know where I am, there’s not a whole hell of a lot that I’ll be able to do for you. Two: the X-Men will each have to carry some sort of locator beacon, set on a secure frequency, so that I can find them in an emergency. Three - and I know I’m asking a lot here - I need the locations of Muir Island and other safe zones that you’ve established, so I know where to send you. I’m willing to make a concession of my own in return, by the way."

"And that is?"

"In addition to your safe areas, I will provide you with all the locations of my own safe houses, save six - I’m leaving one secure area on each continent, in case your system becomes compromised."

Xavier brooded for a moment. "I’ll have to think about it. That should do for now. Rogue, you’re scheduled for security watch this afternoon. Archetype, report to Bishop for a review of security procedures. He’ll issue you a smart key and do retinal scans on you. You’re both dismissed."

After they had left, Henry turned to Xavier. "Warren mentioned to you that those two went out on a date last night?"


"Do you think it wise that he become enmeshed with our lives so rapidly?"

"I don’t see anything wrong with it, Hank. In a way, I’m glad that he’s trying to fit in here. All my information on him made me afraid that he was going to shut himself up in his room and only pop out when there was an emergency. Besides, it’s not often that Rogue gets any attention. Archetype seems to realize what her boundaries are, and he’s chosen to respect them. In any case, what can we do - forbid them to see one another? Do either one of them seem like people who’d obey that sort of order?"

"Good point. Maybe it will be good for both of them. While we’re on the subject, how do you think Scott will take the idea of Archetype having information on our secure locations?"

"I don’t know. Scott seems to realize that his suspicion of Archetype is irrational, so maybe he’ll moderate the histrionics a bit. And even if he chooses not to - well, he’s outvoted by the rest of the team."

"We still haven’t answered the big question, though."

"Oh? What’s that?"

"How will Archetype act when he’s under the gun?"


Continued in Chapter Nine


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