Lost in the Loch

The Maximoffs went on their way but Erik hardly noticed. He turned from the pair and had made his way downtown, at least what he thought was downtown. He still didn't know exactly where Bleecker street was, he had a view of it in his head, but it would be focused for a moment, then switch to a house in the forest, back to his home in Oklahoma, but then he was back in central park. He didn't know for certain what the 'Mistress of Magic' had done to his head, but all he knew was that all he wanted to do was check on his mom.

Looking down at his phone for the map, it looked like it would be a bit of a walk back to Sanctuary Hospital. As he made his way down the winding paths and greenery he could not help but feel strange being within a forest when he had so recently been feeling so confined amongst the tall buildings of NYC. Though to be fair, there was plenty of other reason for him to feel strange today, chief among which was the magic still likely affecting his mind. He had hoped the effects would be temporary, but already he felt some red mist creep at his eyes and he could hear a young girl's voice call out a name he didn't recognize. He came to another cross-road and went down to check his phone, only this time he didn't recognize his hand. Where his phone should have been there was a hammer, his arm now armored. The hammer slid from his hands and he gripped the harness, quickly spinning the hammer into a near blur. Before he could do anything else however, Erik was knocked forward. Regaining control of his movement he turned to see an old asian man with a bucket hat had bumped into him. Somehow he had gotten in front of what appeared to be a tour group, and after accepting a quick apology, hurried to a nearby bench to collect his thoughts.

Stuffing his phone into the draw-string bag, Erik placed both hands on his head and tried to focus on the current situation. He tried to force a mantra in his head, 'Stay calm, stay calm, you're seeing things, stay calm, it's just magic, it'll pass, it's just magic' suddenly a voice that was not his entered his mind, "fortunately, I am mighty". He jumped in excitement and thought to turn around, only now he was circling a strange rune burned into the ground in a forest, "Don't worry, he'll be back..." a voice from inside his head whispered as hands clutched at a large stomach. No, no, that was definitely not him. He shook his head and the vision began to sift away into the real world. Alright, he needed to move, maybe movement would keep his head clearer.

He continued to move South through the walking trail of what his phone had told him was 'the loch' which he might have thought was a strange name had he not been preoccupied with trying to maintain focus on what was currently happening. He came to a small archway that dipped below the road above and as he emerged from the darkness he heard a deep, gravely voice call out from his left, "You're a destroyer Odinson" he looked to find the voice but only saw a man in ragged shirt, "I said do you have any spare change sir?" the ragged man said. Erik stood confused for a moment, "Oh..uhh yeah one sec." He began to reach into his bag but as he turned his head back he felt two hands clasp at his throat, "We are all dead!" He panicked and tried to throw the figure off but now found himself in a school. Girls gathered around him and backed him into the corner, calling him a "freak" and a "weirdo". He didn't understand why he but in an instant he was in NYC again, then the woods somewhere, then London, then what seemed to be a distant planet, a shimmering city, a desert, and a million other places at once as the visions began to fill his mind and he couldn't tell what was happening. All the while voices swirled in his head, some voices he recognized but so many others, "Is he as-there was an id-anctum is a d- it's mag- That was for ne- I find you unworthy!-rros?" He felt a pain in his chest like something had impacted him and then the distinct feeling of a drop. His visions blended into one another and he thought he saw and felt lightening arcing around his body. The pain continued until he felt himself land on something soft and a hand seemed to extend to his. He reached to grab it, but his movements were slowed as if he was moving through something thick, he reached with what felt like a last breath as another Arc of lightening danced in his hand...

It was about 4:30pm the next day when he arrived at the front desk of Sanctuary Hospital. He was mostly dry now, though he still felt as though he would never wash out the smell of Central Park water. When he had gained consciousness he was sitting at the bottom of what he learned shortly after was, 'The Pool'. Thankfully he had lost his bag at the water's edge and he was able to make his way to shore with little difficulty beyond the confused onlooker and the overly enthused tourist.

Once inside he stepped into a bathroom to change to his old clothes. They smelled like the car seat, but at least they weren't still dripping water. When he finally got to his mother's room she found her seated at her small table, looking out the window toward the river. Erik knocked softly at the door frame before taking up a seat opposite her. Without looking to address him she slid a plastic-wrapped sandwich his way, "You're coming in much later than expected. I thought I'd have to throw you out the door to get you to sight see but then you don't answer any of my calls and...Erik why is your hair wet?" She evidently had finally taken a long look at her son while he unwrapped the sandwich. Erik exhaled, "It's been a weird day....I finally met those Maximoffs though so I guess you got your wish." "Hey we both know that my first wish is for SHIELD to declassify my work so I can finally get that damn Nobel Prize." "Alright well you got one of your wishes today then. Theo and Niko were..... interesting."

As Erik took a half of the sandwich down, Jane now rested her head on both hands and smiled slyly toward her son, "I saw their news broadcast, you know that girl is-" she was interuption by Erik nearly chocking on his sandwich, "Mom, please we are not doing that okay. Just no, please not right now. Look they want me to join their team here." Erik hoped that the distraction would pull his mother off of the far more embarrassing topic. Thankfully she took the bait, "And what did you say?" "I told them I'd think about it." "Aaannnnddd?" Erik stood up from the table and rubbed the back of his neck. "And I don't know, it's pretty clear they're trying to do the right thing but...they're a lot more in control of their powers than I am. And I don't want to make any situation for them any worse you know? And then I don't want to leave you here alone, and-" Jane interrupted flatly but with plenty of force, "Erik, I'll be fine. Don't worry about this on my account. I've been sick for a long time and I've dealt with it just fine without you always sitting at my feet. Another thing though," at this she got up and walked toward her son, "And if you're going to try and pull the 'im too strong for anyone's good' routine than there's a few people back in Braxton who are a lot happier not breathing out of tubes because of you," "How did you-" "Oh please! who else could have pulled open a car? You expect me to think the hulk just reappeared?" Her tone softened now and she took her son's hand in hers. "Look, I know you're worried about hurting people and that's fine but this team could help with that. Honey if you never fail then you'll never learn." Erik looked out at the window and then back to her, "Mom I'm not going to be as good as him......I can't be Thor" Jane wrapped her thin arms around her son and he hugged her back, "You just be the best Erik you can be."

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