THE ARCHETYPE ASSOCIATION
"Come on, rookie, one more rep!"
Logan and Archetype were in the weight room of the gymnasium,
on the third day of Archetype's physical training program.
Logan was proving to be a hard taskmaster.
"Right, right, right..." Archetype muttered to
himself, as he hefted the barbells yet again. He pumped out
fifteen lifts of the forty-pound weights, then slowly set
them on the ground. "Satisfied?" he asked Logan
with some asperity.
"Good enough," Logan shrugged, which earned him
a glare. "But you forgot to put them back on the rack."
Archetype, still muttering, replaced the weights.
"Today we're adding something to your routine."
Logan informed him.
"What's that?" was the weary response.
"Well, since you're overheated from lifting those itty
bitty weights," he continued heartlessly, "we'll
just cool you down a little bit."
Archetype looked at him, confused.
"Hit the pool, rookie!" Logan roared.
Logan had the sort of voice which was tailor-made for a drill
sergeant. Archetype, however, was not as easy to rattle as
most. "Shall I change first?" he asked evenly.
Logan was somewhat impressed. Very few people could keep
calm like that when confronted with the demeanor he was projecting.
"Get some swim trunks on," he grunted. "We
put some in the locker with your name on it. You've got two
Archetype grinned. "I'll only need one," he said,
One minute later, they were both standing at the side of
the mansion's indoor pool. "I want you to do four laps,
to the other end and back," Logan informed him. "This
pool's a bit smaller than the one outside, so by the time
the weather warms up, you should be able to do five laps on
the outside pool."
Archetype looked at the pool dubiously. "I suppose I
should let you know now, I'm not a fantastic swimmer. The
North Atlantic doesn't exactly encourage casual dips into
the ocean. I haven't been swimming in years."
"The real purpose of this is to make you use muscles
that you wouldn't ordinarily get to in a regular workout.
Your style'll improve gradually... if you do it right. Now
get moving," he said, as he pushed Archetype into the
Archetype floundered for a few seconds, then got himself
under control. After shooting a look at Logan which was full
of venom, he began using the breast stroke to cross the pool.
He continued that stroke for three laps, then used the back
stroke for the last lap.
"That'll be enough," Logan announced. "Come
on out." He threw Archetype a towel as he emerged from
the pool. "You're gonna have to practice a bit more."
"I suppose I'd better get used to this," Archetype
replied resignedly. "I hate swimming, but if..."
He was interrupted by a high-pitched klaxon and flashing red
"Come on, rookie!" Logan barked, tearing into a
run. "We've got work to do!"
"I take it that that's the call to arms," Archetype
"You got it. Follow me!"
They entered the War Room to find Xavier and Ororo standing
in front of the TAC Display. "What's up?" Logan
"A terrorist group is in front of the Japanese Embassy
in Washington. The leader's threatening to blow it up. Given
his appearance, he's most likely a mutant."
"Has he given a reason yet?" Logan asked.
"He's babbling something about the Japanese being in
league with the Swiss banks and the United Nations."
"Along with the Bavarian Illuminati," Archetype
said disgustedly. "A classic paranoid delusion."
"I agree," Xavier replied. "Normally, I'd
just let the police handle this, but I was able to get a close-up
of the device he's been brandishing about. See for yourselves."
He punched a button, and an image appeared in the holographic
display, suspended in the air. A man stood there, brandishing
a small cylindrical device in his right hand. His left arm
was pinning a young Asian woman around the neck. Xavier zoomed
in, so that the man's right hand filled the 'screen'. "Anybody
"A SHIELD micro-nuke," Logan said. "Fury oughta
review his security."
"Who do we have on call right now?" Ororo asked.
Xavier concentrated for a moment. "Henry, Bobby, Rogue,
Bishop, and you three."
"You're considering me a team member for now?"
"Given the circumstances, I don't have much choice,"
Xavier said. Then he paused. "That didn't come out the
way I intended," he apologized.
Archetype waved that off. "I can have us all there in
less than a minute. Can you give me a map of the area?"
"Easily," Xavier said, moving his hands towards
"Wait," Archetype interrupted. "We'll all
need time to get into uniform. While we're changing, you can
do something to make this easier for me."
Xavier nodded. "What do you need me to do?"
"You get some of your information from satellites, right?"
"Yes. We piggyback our transmissions over existing frequencies."
"Can you temporarily override a satellite that has a
Xavier frowned. "I think so. Why?"
"Here's what I want: Find one of those satellites, one
over North America. Zoom in here, on the mansion, then zoom
out again, as far back as the satellite will allow, then zoom
in on the area of Washington where we'll need to be. It'll
save me a step while we're in transit, and I'll be able to
drop us in the most strategically placed area."
"It'll be ready by the time you get back here. Get moving."
Xavier moved to the communications console to alert the other
members on the grounds.
Archetype disappeared, and Ororo and Logan ran to the locker
rooms. Archetype teleported back to the War Room, in uniform,
three minutes later. The others were down within five, and
saw Xavier and Archetype reviewing the satellite coverage
that Archetype had requested.
"All right, I'm ready," Archetype announced. He
looked at Ororo. "Do you want us on ground level, or
on the top of a building nearby?"
Ororo thought a moment. "The authorities are going to
be nervous enough as it is. Put us on top of a building if
Archetype nodded. "Everybody get close to me... not
that close, Rogue. Face that direction, so the guy's
right in front of us. We'll be about half a block away. Okay,
on three... two... one!" There was a flash of
light, and they were facing the Japanese Embassy, which was
about three stories below them.
"What's the plan, boss?" Wolverine asked Storm.
"We try to reason with him," she replied. "If
that does not work... I don't know."
"Archetype," Bishop spoke up, "can you place
me on that rooftop over there?" He pointed two buildings
"Yes. You want a clean shot, right?"
"Bishop," Storm said in a warning tone.
"It's on stun setting, Storm," Bishop assured her.
"Make sure it stays there. Bobby, will you be able to
affect your target from this range?"
"No problem, Storm."
"Beast, Wolverine, Archetype, Rogue: come with me. Henry,
you may have to disarm the device. Rogue, could you throw
it into orbit if you had to?"
Rogue looked doubtful. "I might, but if it blows before
it gets high enough, it won't make any difference."
Ororo frowned. "Logan, what would you suggest?"
"There's not much I can do, 'Roro. It might be a good
idea if I stay in the background. The guy's probably jittery
enough as it is. If I spook him, he may decide to blow the
Storm sighed heavily. "You might be right. Archetype,
what would you suggest?"
"Let me try talking to him for a few minutes. If he
doesn't settle down, I'll take more direct action."
"What sort of action?" Henry asked.
"I won't know until I do it. Let's go." He teleported
the five of them down to street level, and they made their
way through the police barricade.
One officer tried to stop them. "Stay right where you
Archetype gave the officer an irritated look. "First
place, officer, I'm not a mutant. Secondly, we just may be
the only chance you've got of disarming that lunatic. Thirdly,
if you shoot us, you may startle him, and we all go boom.
Now point that pop gun of yours at the right person, will
you? Who's in charge around here?"
"I am," a man in a suit and sunglasses said. "Agent
Beattie, FBI. Put that thing away, officer. You guys are the
X-Men, right? I recognize you from that day in Dallas. I was
"We're here to help if we can," Ororo informed
him. "What can you tell us?"
"Not much. He hasn't issued any demands, but we've confirmed
that that thing is a SHIELD mini-nuke grenade, and it's set
with a deadman switch. If he let's go of it, it'll blow. That's
why none of our snipers has taken him down yet."
Immediately, Storm tapped her communicator. "Bishop,
this is Storm. The device has a deadman switch. Do not, I
repeat, do not fire."
"Acknowledged," said Bishop over the comlink.
"Can I talk with him?" Archetype asked.
Beattie thought about it for a moment. "Yeah, sure.
Our negotiator can't get here for another ten minutes. Try
to stall him if you can, Chief."
Archetype nodded. "I'll do my best. Hook me up with
a radio and earpiece, so you can hear us. I may have to give
you a signal."
Two minutes later, Archetype was walking towards the terrorist
and his hostage. "I'm not armed," he announced,
holding his hands up. "I'm just here to talk with you."
"You're another mutant, ain't ya?" the man said,
desperate hope in his voice. His skin was orange, and he was
about five feet tall. He was still gripping the terrified
hostage. His voice was ragged and nervous.
"Oh yeah," Logan said from the listening post that
had been set up behind the police line, "he's nuts."
"I'm with the X-Men, if that's what you mean,"
Archetype said in a friendly manner, as he stopped about five
yards away from them. "We'd like to know just why you're
"The flatscans ain't gonna leave us alone, man,"
the man babbled. "They're gonna put us in camps and put
microchips in our brains! They're workin' with the U.N. to
make us all become part of the World Army, and they're gonna
send us out into space to fight in the wars on other planets.
They're doin' the work of the Devil, man, and God wants me
to send 'em all to hell!"
"Lovely," Henry groaned, "we're dealing
with a paranoid schizophrenic who has the Bomb."
"There's no way I can get you to give this up?"
Archetype asked as he used his power to get a general look
at the man's mind. All he got was images of death and self-destruction.
Archetype sighed. "Just checking." He furrowed
his brow for a moment.
And the terrorist's right hand, bomb and all, disappeared.
The terrorist's eyes widened for a moment, and he screamed.
He released his hostage, and clutched his bloody stump, which
was bleeding orange. The hostage bolted, and ran to Archetype,
who calmed her down slightly, and pointed towards the police
line. She understood, moving towards the waiting officers,
who rushed her to safety.
Archetype shook his head sadly as he walked back towards
the police line. "I'm sorry," he said apologetically
to Agent Beattie. "He wasn't sane enough to listen to
reason. I didn't have any alternative."
"We were going to shoot him up with something that would
have caused instant rigor mortis," Beattie said quietly.
"He would have been a statue for the two days or so he
would have lived. You saved his life. Hell, you saves thousands
of lives! Don't be sorry for that."
Archetype shook his head again. "There had to have been
another alternative that I missed," he said quietly.
He looked at Ororo. "Shall we return to base, Storm?"
"Yes," she said sympathetically. "Let's go."
"One question," Henry asked a few minutes later,
when they had all regrouped in the parlor room at the mansion.
"What's that?" Archetype said distantly.
"Where's the bomb now?"
"Somewhere in the vicinity of the solar corona would
be my best guess. I figured one more nuclear explosion in
that neighborhood wouldn't do any harm."
"Look, bub, we were listening in," Logan said.
"He didn't leave you any choice. Anything else we could
have done would have set off the bomb."
"Yes," Archetype replied, not sounding convinced,
"I guess you're right. I'd better get started on dinner.
If you'll all excuse me?" He rose and went to the kitchen.
"You might want to change first," Xavier reminded
Archetype looked down at himself. "Oh. Right,"
he said half to himself. "I'll start dinner in a moment."
He walked over to the stairs.
"He didn't even teleport," Bobby remarked. "He
must really be upset."
"He is," Xavier said, "but not for the reasons
you'd think. He was looking for a way to end the stalemate
without resorting to using his powers. I ran into the same
thing myself, while I was earning my Ph.D. in psychology.
Using my powers felt like... not cheating, but rather that
my skills weren't up to the task. I always felt that my training
should have been better."
"Think he'll be okay?" Rogue asked, concerned.
"Let's just give him some time. If it seems that he's
becoming majorly depressed, then we'll take steps." He
frowned. "That's something that we might want to watch
"What is?" Ororo asked.
"I remember Emma Frost telling me once that Manuel de
la Rocha - Empath - was highly vulnerable to the emotional
states of those around him. It's quite possible that there
is some psychological fallout that Archetype experiences as
a result of his power."
"Meaning that if there's a major change in the collective
consciousness, then Archetype will be affected," Henry
"Is there anything we can do to help him?" Rogue
Xavier held up his hands. "I have no idea right now,
Rogue. His powers are unlike anything I've encountered before.
The only person I know of whose abilities were comparable
was Doug Ramsey. I was just beginning to understand his abilities
when I went into space, and by the time I got back..."
"He was dead," Ororo said sadly. "Can we change
the subject, Charles? I am in no mood to dwell on our darker
"Me neither," Rogue added. "I'm gonna go get
changed." She went up to her room, got undressed, and
tossed her uniform back in her closet. She hadn't been in
contact with anything, and the material that it was made from
was breathable enough to wear several times without washing.
When she came out, clad in her usual casual dress of jeans,
blouse and gloves, Will was just starting down the stairs,
apparently lost in thought.
"You need any help with dinner?" she asked him.
He looked up for a moment, startled. "Um... sure,"
he replied, "if you don't mind peeling some potatoes.
I was going to make that eye round roast I took out of the
freezer this morning."
"No problem," she said. She followed him down to
the kitchen, and started peeling potatoes while he lit the
oven, then seasoned and tied up the meat. He then pulled out
what appeared to be a hypodermic needle from one of the drawers.
Warren, who was just walking into the kitchen, did a double
take. "What in the hell is that thing?" he exclaimed.
"A flavor injector," Will replied, as he used the
instrument to gather up the liquid which remained in the meat
tray. "It's used to add broths and other flavors to roasted
meats and birds." He placed the needle in the roast and
depressed the plunger. Warren simply nodded, not really knowing
how to reply, as the roast was placed in the broiler.
"Okay," Will said as he opened the refrigerator,
"What do we have for a vegetable course?" He peered
inside, and sighed. "Not a whole hell of a lot. Where
do you keep the canned stuff?"
Warren pointed to the proper cabinet, and Will, after a minute's
search, emerged with two cans of sliced mushrooms and a can
of beef broth. "Next question," he said, looking
at Rogue. "Where's the wine kept around here?"
"Down in the basement," she replied.
"What do you need?" Warren asked. "I can get
"Madiera, if you have it. It doesn't have to be an old
Warren nodded, went to the elevator, and went down one floor.
After weaving his way through the heater room and the room
where the old furniture was kept, he entered the wine cellar.
He flicked on the overhead light, and, after a few minutes
of searching, procured a bottle of Madiera.
"Will this work?" he asked Will when he returned.
Will was sautéing the mushrooms in a bit of butter.
Will peered at the label. "Perfect. Remind me to tell
Xavier that I took it." He poured a generous portion
of the wine into a saucepan, to which he added the mushrooms
and the broth. "Now we just have to let this reduce a
bit," he said as he put the heat down to its bare minimum.
"Let's see," he said reflectively, "what should
we do for dessert?"
"Do you have time to bake something?" Rogue asked
as she finished with the potatoes.
He shook his head. "No. Are you done with those?"
She nodded. "Then let's get them in the oven." He
cut the potatoes into quarters, then put them in a large bowl,
coated them with a small amount of cooking oil, added some
rosemary, then opened the oven and placed them in the roasting
pan. "Now, dessert, dessert..." me muttered to himself
as he closed the oven door. "We need something fast...
got it! Is there any ice cream in the freezer?"
Warren peered inside. "Yes. A full gallon."
"Perfect. Could you take it out, please? I'll be back
in a minute," Will replied, and winked out.
"The frightening thing is that I'm starting to get used
to that," Rogue told Warren.
"Where do you think he went?"
She shrugged. "Who knows? I'm given up trying to predict
just what he'll do." Then she smiled. "I've got
to admit, though, it makes life interesting."
A few minutes later, Will reappeared. "Took a while
to find pitted ones." He was holding a large clear plastic
bag, filled with black cherries. "Can you two take off
the stems while I get something else? Thanks," he said
and vanished again.
"That man's going to give me whiplash," Rogue muttered.
"Let's just humor him for a minute," Warren said.
"He's piqued my curiosity."
About three minutes later, Will returned again, with a bottle
of brandy in his hand. "Where did you go for that?"
Warren asked him.
"France. Here, let me help with that." With three
sets of hands, the cherries were stemmed rather quickly. Will
placed them in a pan and poured a generous amount of the brandy
over them. "We'll just let that soak," he said.
"Next question... ice cream dishes."
"Third cabinet from the right, top shelf," Rogue
Will found a full set of the dishes, washed them, then placed
a generous scoop of the ice cream in each one. He then put
them on two plates and placed them in the freezer. "There,"
he said. "Now all we have to do is set the table."
One hour later, after the dishes had been put out and Will
had removed the roast from the oven, placing it on a large
platter and the potatoes in a bowl, the rest of the X-Men
gathered in the kitchen.
"Aren't Cyclops and Phoenix eating with us tonight?"
"They usually eat by themselves these days," Xavier
replied. "What's for dinner?"
"Round eye roast, seasoned pan-baked potatoes, mushroom
gravy, and a surprise for dessert."
"Sounds good to me ," Logan said. "Want me
to cut the meat?"
"Sure, so long as you use a regular knife and not those
shish kabobs of yours."
"No problem." Logan sliced the roast, and the plates
were passed around.
"This is delicious," Ororo said as she tasted the
"Thank you," Will replied. "Just save room
"You seem in a better humor than earlier," she
"Cooking always seems to improve my mood. My life tends
to be pretty chaotic, and cooking is one area where I can
have a good idea of what the end result is going to be."
They made small talk among themselves until it was time for
dessert. Will took the two plates of ice cream out of the
freezer, placed them on the island, and put the bowl of cherries
and the bottle of brandy on a small cart that the New Mutants
used to use when they were eating in the parlor. He then poured
another cup of the brandy into the bowl.
"Okay," Bobby said, "I'll bite. Just what
Will smiled slightly, pulling the spark lighter for the range
from his pocket. "Cherries Jubilee." He then lit
a spark just above the cherries. The brandy caught fire instantly,
and flames rose about a foot above the pan. He then spooned
a small portion of the cherries onto each dish of ice cream
and passed them down. "Bon Appetiet."
Continued in Chapter
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