THE ARCHETYPE ASSOCIATION
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
Ororo was on the other side. "Are you all right, Rogue?"
she asked. "You dont 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 Rogues desk.
"You seem cheerful this morning. I take it your date
Rogue thought a moment. "Im 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 hes so loaded,
hell 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, hed prefer
it if we call him Will. Hell call each of us by our
code names, or Mister or Ms., until he considers us friends.
To be honest, we didnt talk all that much." She
smiled slightly. "I guess Ill have to go out with
him a few more times to learn anything more."
"Youre 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 Ill be down in about fifteen
- no, make it twenty minutes. Ill wake up Will."
"Youll miss breakfast, you realize."
"I had a big meal last night. Ill be fine. See
Rogue took a quick shower, put on a T-shirt and cutoffs,
and went over to Archetypes 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
wasnt in any way a mass of muscle like Peter or Logan,
but there wasnt 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
As her eyes traveled to his waist, she realized that he wasnt
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.
"Im sorry, madam, but the managements policy
is that there is to be no viewer interaction with the exhibits."
Rogue jumped back quickly, blushing furiously. "Im....
I was just.... I...."
"No, dont 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 dont use that phrase around me, Xavier.
I am a firm believer that those two words belong together
as much as the phrase government intelligence."
"Thats right," Henry put in. "I forgot
that youre not a morning person."
"Thats 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,"
"Theres no need," he replied. "I just
need an hour or two to get my mental house in order. Ill
"Wheres 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 Im late," he muttered.
"Dont worry about it," Xavier replied. "Given
how chaotic things are here at times, we arent sticklers
for punctuality. Have a seat." After Archetype was comfortably
settled in one of the overstuffed chairs, Xavier activated
the rooms 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.
"Hes a problem. We dont have much,
and what we do have raises more questions than it answers."
Archetype frowned. "I dont understand. You were
scanning me the entire time, werent you?"
"The entire time you were here, yes," Xavier
answered. "Unfortunately, you spent very little time
here during the session."
Understanding dawned on Archetypes face. "You
couldnt track me while I was in transit." It was
not a question.
"Exactly. Because of that, all of our readings are a
bit spotty. Im going to contact Forge in Washington
to see if he can help us get around that problem. In the meantime,
well be cross referencing our data on you with our files
of Nightcrawlers teleportation process to see if we
can find any parallels."
Archetype shrugged. "Whatever you think is best, Xavier.
I may have an ego, but Im 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,
Id 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."
"It attained the same state as during your run yesterday,"
Henry informed him. "Your brain patterns became much
"I cant give you a precise answer on that,"
Archetype replied. "All I have to work with is a theory."
"Well 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 Im 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. Ive 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. "Ill see if I have
anything that could be of some use to you."
"Id 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."
"Lets 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 - its
easier for me to use a Door than to teleport."
"Whys that?" Rogue asked.
"A Door is a pretty simple thing to construct. Its
just a connection point between two places. When I teleport
an object, however, its 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. Its
much easier for me to create a Door, and let the object fall
"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 Ive 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 Id be much less likely to
run into anything solid."
"Sensible," Xavier agreed. "Did you have any
"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,
"All right, shoot."
"Youre the only one of us to have direct experience
with Archetypes teleportation process. How would you
describe the experience?"
Rogue pursed her lips for a moment. "Theres not
much to say, Professor. There were a lot of flashes of light,
like what youd 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
"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 couldnt 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 its 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."
"Id heard rumors about the Morlocks," Archetype
said, frowning, "but I couldnt manage a teleport
of that scale. There would be too many people involved."
"She doesnt 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 thats something that Ive been meaning
to ask you about," Archetype said, straightening up in
his chair. "If Im to do that sort of thing, Ill
need three things from you to help me."
Xaviers eyes narrowed. "Such as?"
"One: I need some sort of telemetry aid that I can use
to pinpoint my own location. If I dont know where I
am, theres not a whole hell of a lot that Ill
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 Im
asking a lot here - I need the locations of Muir Island and
other safe zones that youve established, so I know where
to send you. Im 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 - Im
leaving one secure area on each continent, in case your system
Xavier brooded for a moment. "Ill have to think
about it. That should do for now. Rogue, youre scheduled
for security watch this afternoon. Archetype, report to Bishop
for a review of security procedures. Hell issue you
a smart key and do retinal scans on you. Youre both
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 dont see anything wrong with it, Hank. In a
way, Im glad that hes 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, its not often that Rogue gets
any attention. Archetype seems to realize what her boundaries
are, and hes 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 whod obey that sort of order?"
"Good point. Maybe it will be good for both of them.
While were on the subject, how do you think Scott will
take the idea of Archetype having information on our secure
"I dont know. Scott seems to realize that his
suspicion of Archetype is irrational, so maybe hell
moderate the histrionics a bit. And even if he chooses not
to - well, hes outvoted by the rest of the team."
"We still havent answered the big question, though."
"Oh? Whats that?"
"How will Archetype act when hes under the gun?"
Continued in Chapter
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