Jarek Ovrem liked his things to be a little finer. Early on, he'd had the taste for the brightest toys, and his parents spoiled him rotten with anything he'd point at. He was taught that he deserved it, that it was a reward for the man he was going to be. That kind of love does something to a child, and it affects the rest of his life. Jarek became infatuated by the image of himself, then. He played hard with the other children, blood through their noses, sand in the teeth, because if they didn't have better toys than him, then they were not destined to be better, either, and that decided their value in his dark eyes. He chose to become a mender when his tastes for superiority developed for more than material things. He wanted to be revered, to hang leadership on his shoulders, so he decided to help, and be seen as the one who helped those in need. Their minds, their most valuable and prettiest parts - he decided to govern, nurse them. And inside this line of work, a doctor at a rehabilitating clinic for those who were deemed broken, he found his true destiny. He saw it them, their need for a path. It was only fitting that, since he was going to be their savoir, that he be inspire by the god they knew. Love for him multiplied with their reliance on him, even if he wanted the commune to stay self-sufficient. What better role of a leader than the kind that was chosen. He declined their cries for his guidance three times before he stepped up as their representative in prayer. He told them any words, and they would make them holy and absolute. He promised them a great new age, and they were content with whatever work he put on them, after that. When Jarek had a son by one of the most pious girls, he folded the child into the commune too, and they spoiled the boy worse than Jarek's parents did him. It was around that time that he found her. Beautiful Charlotte, come to his clinic for unspeakable missteps. She was just supposed to be another kid raised under his shadow, clamoring for his hand. But he saw something in the shards of her, and thought he could assemble them into a perfectly useable constellation. It was perfect that she was beautiful, too. All religions need fodder for their altars, and Charlotte especially was wondrous in that way. He raised her, and believed in his own lie. Her fractured mind, mending wrong, was gorgeous to him, and he nurtured it with hope and promise, so that he could prepare her for her coming of age. In the end, he couldn't help but love her, more than he loved his boy, because she was lovely in all her designs, because she was part of his own glory. Any good, selfless man can be betrayed by pride, and Jarek was so susceptible already. Bright toys. It was their group, in a way. He'd built it and seen it grow, and they listened to his words on god the way he'd understood the good book. It was ready for her. She'd come to trust him like the group, their commune. And he had spoken of her maturity into her role as their guide through the future. He was eager to see the voices do good for her. To think the hospital had thought they were figments in her head. No. She'd been pregnant, and the sounds that tried to seduce her were angel embryos. The voices of the world converging in her cortex. He wanted the trust of his people, so he spoke to them about blood, his blood, so they wouldn't doubt him. Concepts can be bent, but blood is forever. That way, they had to listen when he told them Charlotte was right. The future on her tongue, when she found herself in her fits - the flesh god had said so. They were coming to her better now, as he was teaching her to receive them steadily. At the edge of the forest, paid for by the money that pious labor earns, was their small town, ready to receive her. Today was her first acquaintance with them. She'd only met a handful of the people, and his son before. Her second birth, into a place that she would always call home. The car with the precious, gossamer-tressed would-be oracle came up the road and through the gate in the fence. It stopped by the big hose where Jarek lived. Kell didn't have his father's self-imposed delusions, even if he liked to play along in the theatre. But even the truth-seeing dark eyes of the son of the flesh god were often fixated on the pretty Charlotte. At first they'd been siblings, and then, when he'd became strong enough to hurt her, his father got between them. The children had grown up alongside each other, and she had sprouted to become excruciatingly stunning. Blood, his father had said, which was Kell's birthright. His thoughts were dark, but he would wear a light mood around her. It was only right Kell come and get her. He'd held her hand in the backseat. "This can be a bit overwhelming." he said, leaning in closer, locking his other hand over hers, as well. She smelled like she should belong to him. "But I'll take care of you, Lotte. You come to me if there is anything you need." And then the door opened, and he stepped out to pull her along. The half circle of the commune's people cheered, frantic to see their dreams gleam off the pretty girl. Kell still held on to her, and waved with his other hand. In this place of agriculture and geographic privacy, he was bringing the keep of their heaven, and they already loved her. Raker thought she should revel in the light. He was usually out-shouted by her other barnacles, her gray-mass flowers. But he knew when to put in his advise. Hadn't he celebrated with her when she tried the feel of herself at such a young age? He'd guided her fingers and talked sweetly but darkly to her about what images she should have. Listen to the doctor, he means us well, do what he says. Kill the insects that wander into your room. Put them between your lip and your gums. Out of all the flowers and clams on her beautiful mind, he loved Charlotte the most. Hold his hand tighter. Open your arms for the people. Let the light hit your chest. He'd been there with her, holding her hands and lifting her feet when they'd tested her mother's skin, too. Raker was her friend. He lived in the veins clawing at her heart and in the tunnel of her spine.