THE ARCHETYPE ASSOCIATION
She opened her eyes slowly, realizing as she did so that
she was unaware of having closed them. She looked around,
trying to find Archetype, but her eyes could not penetrate
the mist which surrounded her.
After a few moments of listening for any sign of Archetype,
she decided to simply sit down and wait. She leaned back,
and landed unceremoniously on her rear end. She jumped up
instantly, and felt around. The chair was gone. After a moment,
she realized that the entire house was gone, and that she
was standing in the middle of nowhere.
Rather than panicking, she decided to wait and see what happened
next. She quieted her breathing and listened intently. After
a moment, she felt the faint stirrings of a breeze behind
her. The wind blew some of the mist away, revealing a small
path in front of her.
Okay, I can take a hint, she thought.
She followed the path, which seemed to twist and turn unexpectedly.
After a few minutes, she found herself standing before a large,
flat rock. She stepped on top of it, and noticed that the
path disappeared back into the mist as she did so.
The mound which she had seen before the mist had borne down
on her was still there, but it was... changed. Fires burned
at either end, and the mist swirled around it in a clockwise
motion, making it appear to be in the center of a hurricane.
The dark, star-speckled night sky could be seen above it.
Archetype stood atop the mound, just as she had seen him
before, seemingly listening for something., his eyes distant.
She watched him for a moment, then focused her eyes on the
mist surrounding them. She could see bright spots appear within
the maelstrom, formed by lightning flashes which congealed
into spheres of electricity, then floated out of the mist
and approached Archetype.
Rogue had not seen ball lightning before, but had often seen
Ororo frustrate herself trying to determine the right 'mix'
of natural forces needed to create it. Ororo had given up
on the whole idea some months before, when both she and Henry
had agreed that whatever was missing was not found in a normal
environment. Ororo, Rogue decided, would be more than a little
annoyed to see not one, but three spheres of ball lightning
floating in the air. They surrounded Archetype, then circled
him, as if in an orbit, trails of vapor following them.
The spheres broke their orbit around him and returned into
the mist. Soon, the mist swirled, spinning slowly. It slowly
started to gain definition, turning into a long tendril of
fog, which soon began to glow. The glow started as a pure
white, but threads of red, yellow, and green soon appeared
within it. The spin of the mist increased, and it was soon
moving faster than the eye could follow. The mist suddenly
split into three tendrils, one for each of the three colors.
The tendrils wove patterns in the air, interlocking in a complex
weave of color.
They moved towards Archetype, gaining definition as they
advanced. Each tendril developed two glowing points at the
front. In a few moments, it became obvious that the shapes
were dragons, which wove around him and intertwined. Their
heads rose above him, looking down with stern expressions.
Will looked up at them, his face apprehensive. "Is there
any other choice?" he asked in a quiet voice.
The ethereal dragons said nothing, but their eyes glowed
brighter for an instant.
Archetype sighed and nodded, his head dropping. "Of
course. There never is."
The dragons bore down upon him and struck. Archetype
screamed in agony and fell to his knees. Rogue cried out and
tried to rush to his aid, but found that she could not leave
the rock on which she was standing.
Rogue recalled her promise of earlier that night. "Sorry,
Will," she muttered as she tried to breach the unseen
barrier. She watched Archetype writhe as flames coursed over
his body. The fire focused on the insides of his forearms
for a few moments, then died down. He groaned slightly, then
collapsed in a faint.
The world dimmed for a moment, then Rogue realized that the
car was where it had been earlier in the night. They had returned
to the "real" world.
She rushed to his side and listened to his breathing, which
seemed regular. She spent a few wild moments deciding how
to carry him, finally resorting to wrapping her sweater around
him and bringing him inside.
She laid him down on his bed, talking to him reassuringly.
"You're okay, Will. Everything's going to be all right.
It's over now..." He just groaned, then lapsed into unconsciousness.
After a moment of searching through the bathroom, she found
some bandages, which she wrapped around his bleeding arms,
after having put on her gloves.
She stayed by his side for the rest of the night.
Rogue opened her eyes blearily, then awoke in an instant
when she realized that the bed was empty. She looked around
the room wildly, then noticed the sound of running water.
She got up and walked over to the bathroom door. "Will,"
she asked, "are you okay?"
"I'm feeling better," he replied. "Be out
in a minute."
"Okay." She went into the kitchen and turned on
the kettle. A few minutes later, Archetype walked out in a
T-shirt and sweatpants, toweling his hair dry. "There's
a towel for you hanging on the bar," he told her.
"Thanks." She looked at his arms. "You took
off the bandages?"
"Looks like my arms healed while I was out. So, what
do you think?" he asked, holding out his arms, palms
The tattoos covered his lower arms, and wound around them
in a pattern so complex that Rogue's eyes became lost trying
to follow them. She noticed that each band - the red, the
yellow, and the green - ended at some point with a head, which
gripped the other end of one of the other colors, resulting
in a single, unbroken ribbon. "Snakes?" she asked.
"Dragons," he said as he sat down. "I can't
be too sure yet, but I think I'm supposed to be some sort
"Pendragon?" she asked, puzzled. "You mean
like Arthur Pendragon?"
He nodded. "I think I'd like to rest for another day
or so, then we'll head out."
"Where to now?"
"Well, first I thought that you might want to visit
your friends in Excalibur. I have a good general idea of where
Muir Island is."
"Okay, then where?"
"I have something to do in Cornwall, in southern England.
More specifically, in Glastonbury."
"You'll see. Go on, take your shower. I'll start breakfast."
Rogue felt much better after her shower, and the smell of
frying sausage reminded her of just how hungry she was. "I
totally forgot about dinner last night," she confessed
as she came out in jeans and a sweatshirt.
"I know. I just found it in the oven. For now, however,
we have poached eggs, hash browns, and sausage."
"Great, I'm starved," she said as she sat down.
She looked at him, noticing that his eyes were distant. "You
okay?" she asked.
"I'm fine," he assured her. "I'm just going
to take another day or so to come back down to earth. I'll
just sit around and read, or maybe take a nap. Unless there's
something you'd like to do, of course."
She shook her head. "I could use the rest myself. Will
we need to get anything?"
"I think I can scrounge us up another meal if I have
to. Is there anywhere you want to go?"
"Not really. Where will you want to go after Glastonbury?"
"I don't know. We've got four days, at least. How does
a whirlwind tour of Europe sound?"
"Fantastic! How are we traveling?"
"First class all the way. Any cities you want on the
"Paris!" she said instantly, her eyes bright.
"Don't be uncertain, dear," he said blandly. "Tell
me what you really want."
"Can I help it if I love Paris?"
"I won't hold it against you."
"What will you hold against me?" she asked with
an arch look.
"Why don't we talk about that?"
They were both joking, of course, and they spent the day
resting, either dozing in their chairs or reading quietly.
At one point, Rogue awoke to find Archetype looking at her
silently, his eyes thoughtful. "What's wrong?" she
"Nothing," he said quietly. "You just look
so gosh-darned cute when you're asleep."
"Thanks," she said, smiling, as she got up and
stretched. "What time is it?"
"About three. Feel like going for a walk?"
"Why not?" She slipped on some sneakers, brushed
her hair, and met him at the door.
"Where's your coat?" he asked. He carried a small
bag with him.
"I didn't bring one. I didn't think it would get this
"Here," he said, rummaging through his coats and
handing her one.
"What's in the bag?" she asked.
The breeze was brisk, but not chilly, and the sun was out.
They walked along the road for a while, until they came to
a large clearing. "This looks about right," he said,
opening the bag and handing the contents to her. "Here
"You've got to be kidding me. A kite?"
"Why not? It's perfect kite weather."
"Isn't this just a little childish?"
"You're making a common mistake, Rogue. You're confusing
childish with childlike." As he spoke,
he took out another kite, which he proceeded to reel out and
run with, allowing it to catch the breeze.
Rogue watched him for a moment, shrugged, then unreeled her
An hour later, they decided to head back. "I should
give Excalibur a call and let them know that we're coming."
"We can take care of that in town, when we get dinner."
"We're eating out again?"
"Why not? Besides, it'll give us an excuse to return
An hour later, they were deciding where to eat. "How
about something simple?" Rogue asked. "We can eat
fancy when we get to Paris."
"All right. How about a burger?"
"That's simple enough for me."
One meal of burgers, fish, and chips later, they found a
pay phone, where Rogue called Muir Island. "Kitty said
come over anytime," she told him as she hung up.
"Let's get back and pack up, then." An instant
later, they were in the cabin. "I'll wrap up the food
and put it in a box."
"So we can give it to Excalibur. No sense in letting
it go to waste."
Fifteen minutes later, they were ready. Archetype pulled
an atlas of the British Isles off his bookshelf and opened
it. "Now where exactly is Muir Island?" he asked
"Right here," she said, pointing.
His eyes became unfocused again. "Got it." Everything
went dark for a moment, and they found themselves about two
hundred yards away from the main entrance to the genetic research
station. "This is the right place, isn't it?"
"You were right," she assured him. "See? Here
comes Brian Braddock now." She was referring, of course,
to the man once known as Captain Britain, who was flying towards
them from the other side of the island.
"Rogue, we have a problem," Archetype said sharply.
"He's not slowing down."
Continued in Chapter
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