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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


"Okay, guys," Bobby said over the Danger Room microphone, "the object of this scenario is to rescue everybody's favorite animatronic demographic unit, the Mannequinov family."

"The what?" Will asked.

"It's a running joke," Logan informed him.

"What kind of trouble did they get into this time, Bobby?" Warren asked.

"Well..." the Danger Room darkened for a moment, and their surroundings became a cityscape, lit by twilight. A row of townhouses towered above them, and the lights in most of them were out. "Little Svetlana is growing up, and is outgrowing the vices of youth. She's taken up a new hobby."

As Bobby spoke, an orange light started to glow from the top floor of one of the townhouses. "That's right, everybody," Bobby continued, "Svetlana is now smoking in bed!"

"Why, that little tramp!" Warren exclaimed.

"Angel, see if you can spot anyone from the roof," Ororo said in a commanding tone. "I will start a small rainstorm over the building. Archetype, teleport Wolverine and yourself inside the building."

"I wish I could oblige, Storm, but I can't do that."

"What?" Storm asked. "Why not?"

"I'd explain, but we don't have time. Just trust me. I can't teleport us up there."

"We're in trouble," Warren said.

"Oh, we can work around it," Will assured him. "I'll get them out."

"How?" Logan asked.

"I'll just walk in and get them."

"Those aren't illusions, Archetype," Ororo snapped. "Those flames will burn you."

"Yes, they will," he confirmed. "Would you be so kind as to drench me, Storm?"

Ororo, Logan, and Warren looked at one another. Logan shrugged. "Let's play along, 'Roro. He's got me interested."

Ororo looked above Will for a moment, and a small rain cloud appeared over his head. A moment later, he was rained upon with a virtual sheet of water.

"Thank you," he told Ororo, as he dripped upon the 'ground'. "Keep an eye on the third floor." He walked directly into the flames of the building.

"Bobby," Ororo said as he entered, "keep an eye on his vital signs."

"Right." A moment later, he continued: "His vitals have sped up. He must be in overdrive."

"Avoiding the flames by being too fast for them," Ororo realized. "Ingenious."

"He's on the third floor now. Now back on the second."

A few seconds later, one of the windows shattered as a chair flew through it. Will stood at the center of the resulting hole, flanked by the automatons representing the family.

"How will you get them down?" Logan yelled up to him.

Will grimaced for a moment, then glanced around him, scanning the burning room. "There's nothing here that I can use as a rope or ladder. Angel, can you haul them down?"

"I'll be right up." A moment later, he was picking up the first of the robots. "How are you getting down?" he asked Will on the next trip up.

"The simplest way of all," was the reply. "I'll wait 'till after you're done."

Warren was able to take down both of the 'children' in one trip, since they were somewhat smaller than the other robots. "What about him?" Logan asked as he landed.

"He said he'd take care of himself," Warren replied.

"How will you get down?" Ororo yelled up to Will.

Will simply shrugged, and stepped off the edge of the building.

He hit the ground a moment later, was still for a few moments, then got up with a groan. "That's gonna hurt in the morning."

"Uh... simulation over," Bobby said. "Report to debriefing."

"What was the idea with jumping?" Bobby asked Will a few minutes later. "Ororo could have floated you down on a gust of wind."

"Not without fanning the flames, she couldn't," he disagreed.

"Why didn't you just let me carry you down?" Warren asked.

"The flames were getting too intense. I could see that you were flinching from the heat as you picked up the last two victims."

"Would you pull that stunt in combat?" Logan asked.

"That particular situation wouldn't exist in a combat scenario. The only reason that I didn't just teleport everyone down was that the distance that I was moving subjectively was not the same as objective reality."

"Here we go again," Bobby groaned. "His explanations always give me a headache."

"Try meditating. What you see in the Danger Room is a very good illusion, but it's still an illusion - at least while you're using holograms that give a deceptive idea of distance. If I had teleported the two of us the fifty feet straight up that that distance appears to be, I'd actually be sending us into a solid wall, and we'd both be dead. I can see past the illusions that this room creates, and I can't resolve the differences between illusion and reality in my mind."

"Why didn't you mention this during your session with Rogue?"

"Because the dimensions during that sequence weren't altered. The distances between us stayed the same."

"We hadn't counted on this," Warren told Ororo in a worried tone.

"I have a possible solution," Ororo suggested, looking at Will. "When we have a scenario that involves you, we will simply keep subjective distances the same as those in the Danger Room."

"That could limit us," Warren observed.

"Not really," Bobby disagreed. "We can use some old programs, back from the days before we used Shiar technology."

"That could work," Warren conceded. "We can do some sessions outside once in a while, too. We haven't done that in a while, and I sort of miss it."

"So do I," Ororo admitted.

Logan stood up. "Me and the rookie have to get goin', 'Roro. We've got a hand-to-hand combat test today."

About an hour later, Xavier and Henry were interrupted from their security updates when the door opened suddenly. "Charles, you should come to the gymnasium... now."

"What is it, Ororo?" Xavier asked, concerned.

"The training session between Archetype and Wolverine has escalated."

"How so?"

"It's turned into a brawl."

As Logan ducked yet another swing from Archetype, he tried to figure out exactly when things had gotten out of hand.

The session had started smoothly enough, with Will following Logan's lead through several katas. Will started out uncertainly, lagging behind Logan by a few seconds as he watched the details of the martial dance. As the cycle of the kata progressed, however, Will caught up with Logan, his motions becoming smoother and more precise in the process. By the end of the kata, he was moving with complete balance and poise, his eyes closed and his face impassive.

"Not bad," Logan complimented him.

"Thanks. I've been practicing."

"When have you had the time?"

"Oh no," he replied, tapping the side of his head, "I've been practicing up here."

Logan couldn't think of any reply for that, so he gestured for Will to take up his place on the mat. "Today's your qualifier," he informed him. "If I think you're good enough to pass, then you'll qualify for missions where things are likely to get rough."

"As opposed to your usual missions, where you toss a coin and the loser goes home, right?"

"Don't be a smartass. You're on offense."

Logan took a defensive stance, watching Will closely. The man had been full of surprises the past few days, combining techniques from a dozen different styles. Logan, who was one of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the world, had to admit to himself that he was impressed with the man.

"Will I be on offense through the whole match?" Will asked.

"We'll be switching off. Your move, rookie."

Archetype didn't move. "Wouldn't it make more sense for us to be in uniform?"

"We'll move on to that later. Are you stalling?"

"Not at all." He bowed deeply, and Logan, through a reflex born of years of exposure to Japanese culture, bowed back, lowering his head as Will had done.

Which prevented him from seeing Will, who continued the bow, rolled forward, and hit him square in the face with both feet.

Logan staggered back slightly, allowing Will to get back on his feet. Logan shook his head slightly, clearing it. "Not bad," he said again, as he dropped to one knee and struck, aiming for Will's midsection.

Will twisted, following Logan's punch, spun around, and drove his elbow into Logan's left shoulder, following up with a drum punch to the side of his head.

Logan hit the mat, stunned, but got up a moment later. "That's it," he warned. "The kid gloves are off."

Will smiled coldly in return. "I wouldn't have it any other way."

They both became a blur of motion for the next few minutes. Logan, who wasn't fighting at anything approaching his maximum ability, used the opportunity to study Will's style. He recognized elements from tae kwan do, savate, and drunken boxing at various points in the match. But while Will was able to perform the motions, he seemed to have no spirit behind them. He wasn't centered, as he was during the kata, but disjointed and erratic.

Okay, Logan thought to himself, I know how good he is when he's calm. What happens if I piss him off?

Let's find out.

When Will came in for his next strike, Logan parried him easily, sending him to the mat with a three-part combination to the face and jaw.

"Enough games," he told Will, who spat blood as he stood back up. "Time for today's lessons. Lesson one," he said as he punched Will in the abdomen, driving the air out of his lungs and causing him to double over, "you're the student, I'm the teacher. Lesson two," he continued as he sent Will sprawling to the mat with a roundhouse kick, "don't mess with teacher."

Will lay on the floor for a moment, unmoving, and Logan became impatient. "Come on, get up. I didn't hurt you that bad."

Will got up, facing away from Logan, and slowly turned around. His eyes were glowing brightly; his face, however, was like stone. He took a defensive stance, but Logan saw an opening and took it.

Archetype ducked the kick easily, responding with a combination of blows to Logan's abdomen and chest, and finishing with a punch to the side of his head.

Logan got up instantly. He had rolled with the final punch, and wasn't as dazed as he had been the previous time. "All right, rookie," he growled, "let's dance."

Over the next few minutes, Archetype did something that few people in the world were capable of: he made Wolverine break a sweat. They didn't let up, each landing blows which stunned the other. Strangely, neither of them showed any signs of fatigue. Logan knew that his healing factor kept fatigue toxins from accumulating in his bloodstream, but Archetype seemed to actually get better as they went along.

Their fight could likely have continued for several hours if Xavier and Ororo had not intervened. "That is enough, gentlemen!" Ororo said in her command voice.

"Tell it to him, 'Roro!" Logan shot back, as he ducked a blow which powdered the concrete wall behind him.

"Charles, can you do anything?" Ororo said, her face concerned. "If Scott sees this, Archetype will never gain his trust."

"I agree." Xavier replied. Archetype! he projected. Stop this at once!

The response that he got was an incoherent jumble of images and emotions. He 'saw' a trench filled with the dead bodies of soldiers holding rifles and combat knives. The view shimmered, to be replaced by endless columns of soldiers carrying spears and large rectangular shields, marching in perfect cadence underneath a stone arch. The image shifted again, becoming a samurai slashing his way through a forest of enemies single-handedly.

"I can't get through," he finally said in exasperation.

"Then we do it my way," Ororo said grimly. She raised her hands, her eyes went completely white, and a lightning bolt hit Archetype, stunning him for a moment.

Will turned slowly and looked Ororo up and down. "Oh, puh-leez," he asked in an amused voice, his eyes dimming, "did you actually think that would hurt me?"

"Well," Ororo said, somewhat defensively, "I thought it was worth the try."

"You get points for effort," he assured her. "Well, coach," he asked Logan, "do I get pass muster?"

"Yeah, you pass," Logan told him grudgingly. "He's qualified for field work, Chuck."

Xavier nodded. "Warren will brief you on the Blackbirds this afternoon," he told Will. "Now hit the showers, both of you."

"Yes, sir," Will said, flicking Xavier a two-finger salute.

"And I want to talk to you after lunch," Xavier told him.

Will blinked. "Am I in trouble?"

"Not yet, but you're working on it."

Will rubbed his jaw as he opened his locker. "You throw a mean right, you know that?" he asked Logan.

Logan shrugged. "I've had plenty of practice." He looked at Will's hand, which was rapidly swelling up. "You okay?"

"I broke it on that last punch. It'll heal up in about half an hour," he replied as he took off his clothes with his left hand.

"Sure you don't want Hank to look at it?"

"Nah. There aren't any open wounds, so I should be fine." He grabbed a towel and went into the showers.

"You know, between your tattoos, your hair, and those scars, you aren't exactly going to get any undercover work."

"This from the walking Brillo pad? I've had cats that had less body hair than you do."

"Don't get cute," Logan said as he followed Will into the showers. "Can you tell me something?"


"What happened to you back there?"

Will leaned against the tile for a minute. "Has Rogue told you guys any of what happened to me in Ireland?"

"Not much."

"Can you take what I'm about to tell you on faith?"

"Sure," Logan shrugged.

"I told Rogue about an experience that I call the Chorus. Well, the Chorus is sort of like my own personal soundtrack."

"You'd better run that by me again."

"Remember when I told you that I can see trends that lead to the future?"


"I don't see them as much as hear and feel them. The different variables that affect the future manifest themselves to me as notes of music. By listening to the tune, I can make an educated guess as to what the next movement is going to be. Sometimes, though, the Chorus becomes so loud that all I can do is just follow it along for a while. That's what happened when you clocked me."

"So you weren't fighting me, as much as you were going along with the song."

"Right. I don't think I would have hurt you, but I was doing my best to take you down."

"If you'd been fighting anybody but Rogue or me, you would've done it."

"That's good to know. At least now I know I can hold my own."

"By the way, I added a laser sight to your pistol. It's small enough to not be a problem, but with your aim, I think you'll need it."

"Thanks," Archetype replied dryly. "Is it a standard laser sight?"

"Yeah, nothing fancy about it."

"I've got an idea. Think Beast could fiddle with it a little?"

"And do what?"

"Well, I was thinking that the beam could give us away. Since my vision extends into the infrared, why not give me a laser sight that puts out an infrared beam?"

Logan blinked, then grinned. "I like it!"

"Thanks. Well," he said, wincing a bit as he wiggled his broken hand, "I'd better go catch up with Angel. See you at lunch."

"Okay, I thought it would make more sense for us to start from the back and work our way forward, since it'll be a while before you do any pilot training."

"If ever. I'm still not sure that your systems are shielded as well as you think," Will told Warren.

"We'll see. This is Blackbird Gold, our new plane. Forge designed and built her, and shows up every once in a while to patch her up and do tests."

"I notice she's a forward-swept wing design. How does she handle below Mach 1?"

"The stabilizers are a custom design. She's smooth as silk."

"And top speed?"

"Both Blackbirds can do Mach 3. In emergencies, Mach 4."

"Rogue had mentioned that this one has V-TOL capability."

"That's right. Let's go inside." They climbed the ladder that led into the belly of the plane. "Offensive and defensive systems are on your right."

"You carry offensive weapons?" Will asked with some surprise. "I thought you considered yourselves a defensive unit."

"We do, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. Most of our offensive systems are anti-aircraft missiles, but we have a few mutant-specific systems."

"Dampening units?" Will guessed.

Warren nodded. "The effect's sort of like a concussion grenade. Hank came up with the idea during our days in X-Factor."

"Where would I sit?"

"Over here," Warren said, pointing to a row of seats across from the Electronic Countermeasures station. "We listened to your suggestion, and placed you away from as many critical systems as we could."

"Good. What's the other plane like?"

"Inside, the configuration's pretty much the same. Outside, just picture a really big SR-71."

"How did Xavier swing that?"

"He has a lot of contacts that he doesn't let anybody know about - not even the senior team members."

"Makes sense. What you don't know, you can't reveal."

"Jean used to tell me about people who come and talk with Charles in the middle of the night, then leave before daylight. We've never asked him, but we think that Charles may have had connections with "Kelly" Johnson, the man who designed the SR-71, and hired him to design a larger plane."

"I'm sure the fact that Xavier is Old Money helped."

"I know it did. I've used some of those Old Money connections myself, and Emma Frost is the embodiment of the Old Money mentality."

"I haven't had time to really get any connections started," Will mused. "Maybe I should start planning that in."

"I still show up at the occasional dinner party. I'll wrangle invitations for you and Rogue one of these days."

"I'd appreciate it. Time for lunch," he said, glancing at his watch.

"Let's get going, then. By the way, I heard your workout with Logan got a bit intense."

"I have the feeling that Xavier is going to rake me over the coals for that." Will said ruefully.

"How's the hand?" Logan asked as Will and Warren entered the kitchen and sat down.

"Good as new," Archetype replied.

"I heard you gave Wolvie a run for his money," Rogue told him.

"If he'd gotten any nastier, I would've popped my claws," Logan confirmed.

"You gave him the Blackbird tour, Warren?" Xavier asked.

Warren nodded. "He's got the basics down. We'll go into more detail later."

"After your conference with me, Will, you have perimeter security detail."

"Lunch is ready," Ororo said, as she and Bobby brought over two large bowls, one containing spaghetti and the other, sauce, meatballs, and sausage. She then looked at the table, frowning. "I forgot something."

"We left the bread on the counter," Bobby supplied.

"I've got it," Will said, glancing at the counter. His eyes flashed, and the basket of bread appeared on the table.

"Thanks," Bobby said, sitting down.

"Is perimeter detail done in or out of uniform?" Will asked.

"With the exception of Bishop, we do it in civilian clothing," Ororo told him. "It reduces the risk of having to answer difficult questions if someone sees us from the road.."

"Any off-limits places that I should know about?"

"Devil's Rock, near the west end of the gardens," Xavier informed him. "I'll explain why later."

"I just walk along the perimeter and look for anything unusual?"

"Just let out a psychic 'yell' if you encounter anything. I think that would be more dependable than a communicator in your case."

"Don't be a hero, in other words."


"I can live with that."

"Why didn't you tell us that you could do that?" Xavier demanded as Will entered his study.

"Why hello, Xavier, I'm doing quite well, and yourself?" was the response.

"Just answer the question, Will," Jean said in a weary voice.

"Because I didn't know that I could," he snapped irritably. "You all seem to think that I have an idea of how my powers work. I hate to disillusion you, but I don't know much more than you do."

"Can you at least tell us what happened, from your point of view?" Ororo asked.

"All right," he said tiredly as he sank into a chair. "This is the best I can give you in the way of an explanation.

"I don't dream the same way as I did before my accident. I used to just have normal dreams, dealing with my life and imagination."

"That doesn't happen anymore?" Jean asked.

"No," he said, shaking his head. "Now, all my dreams have some sort of meaning, or agenda, behind them." He glanced at Xavier. "You want to know how I was able to hold my own with Wolverine? Ever since I started training with you guys, I've been having dreams about war. Do you know what lucid dreaming is?"

"Yes. It's a state where the dreamer is aware that he or she is dreaming, and is able to affect the outcome of the dream."

"Almost all of my dreams are lucid dreams. Lately, they've been taking one of two forms. In one, I'm somewhere in the Far East - I have a feeling that it's not a real place, but instead, a synthesis of various places in the world. I've been getting my brains beaten out pretty regularly by an old master who appears to be about ninety years older than God. When I wake up, I usually remember what I've learned during the night. That's how I was able to do so well against Wolverine."

"What's the other kind of dream?" Jean asked.

"I'm sitting at a desk in a massive tower. It's circular, and the desk, and me, are floating in midair. The tower is nothing but books. There's no entrance, and the tower goes down, and up, as far as I can see. I can travel to any place within the tower, pick up any book, and find the knowledge that I need to solve whatever problem that I have. I know, Xavier, beyond a doubt, that all the knowledge within the collective consciousness is contained in that library. I also know that, given enough time, I can learn all that information."

"So that's how you view the collective consciousness?" Xavier asked. "As a gigantic library?"

"More like the ultimate multimedia experience. Maybe an example would help. Let's say I want to learn about architecture. I think about architecture and start floating up or down to a specific area of the library. When I get to a certain point, I find that a certain book is glowing. I take the book off the shelf and open it. I sort of dive into the book, and someone that I know has something to do with architecture - let's say Frank Lloyd Wright - is standing next to me. He starts instructing me in the basics of architecture, and let's me know how I'm doing. Time really doesn't really mean anything to me while I'm dreaming, so I can learn as much as I want to until I decide to take a break."

"Do you ever know how far along you are in your studies?" Ororo asked.

"My instruction is usually chronological in order, so I can usually make a good guess. I can leave a bookmark in the book when I leave, so I can go back later to where I left off." Archetype looked at his watch. "I'd better get outside. My watch starts in ten minutes."

"How will you be proceeding?" Ororo asked.

"I'm just going to run the perimeter. I'll compress distance when I'm visible from the road, so that no one sees me."

Xavier nodded. "Let someone know if you run into trouble. We'll signal you when your watch is over."

See you later, then." He got up and started walking towards the door.

"By the way," Xavier said, "Jean, Betsy, and I will be testing your psychic defenses while you're out there. Just do your best to get us out of your head."

"Right." Will shut the door behind him as he left.

"Opinions?" Xavier asked Jean and Ororo.

"He was telling us the truth," Jean said. "Nobody could make up something like that and expect to be taken seriously."

"You realize, of course, that he has the potential to become one of the most intelligent people in history," Ororo put in. "Immortality and ultimate intellectual access - I'm starting to decide that Valerie was right, Charles."

"So am I," Xavier admitted.

"When do you want to hit him?" Jean asked.

"Let's try at about two-thirty. You'd better let Betsy know."

Will went up to his room, changed into hiking boots, jeans, and a black shirt. He put on his wrist sheath and slipped another knife into one of his boots, then went outside and started jogging towards the front gate. Once he reached the gate, he turned to the left and headed towards the southwest corner of the estate.

Once he was out of sight from the road, he increased his speed, keeping himself down to about five miles an hour, a speed that was just slow enough to be taken as a wind sprint if seen in a glance. The terrain started to pass by at a more acceptable pace, and soon he reached the edge of Breakstone Lake. As he turned towards Spuyten Dyvil Cove, he decided not to walk on Jean and Cyclops' property without their permission. He slowed down, concentrated, and teleported to the other side of the cove. He then continued skirting the edge of the small mountain which housed the Blackbirds and their runway, heading back towards Graymalkin Lane. He slowed down again when he got within visual range of the road. Once he was hidden behind the wall, he stopped for a moment to do a visual sweep of the area.

A few moments later, he dropped to his knees as the worst migraine headache of his life hit him like a hammer. He glared up, where he could see the astral forms of Xavier, Betsy, and Jean looking down at him. "You're doing this, aren't you?" he spat.

This is only a minor attack, Xavier's voice said inside his mind. What will you do if there's a major telepath going up against you?

"Oh, I don't know," he growled, "how about this?"


The force of that one thought was like a cannon shot, snapping the three telepaths out of their concentration. They all caught the image of an immense tower, windowless and impregnable, and heard a door slam shut as they were hurled back. An instant later, they all found themselves back in their bodies.

"How ... did he do that?" Betsy gasped.

"A pure, undifferentiated psychic wave," Xavier said clinically, "then a solid mindshield. I have to admit, it's a solid combination."

"What's he doing now?" Jean asked.

Betsy looked out the window. "He's back on his patrol."

"Well, I think that we can now put psionically attacking him on our list of dumb things to do."

"Make sure to underline it."


Continued in Chapter 19


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