I dreamed last night as I slept. A purely Lesser affliction, I have come to suspect; but I know now, I, too, share in their baser degradations. Passion, hatred, suffering. Things which were foreign to my race were born inside of me when I shed my coat of fire.

Sometimes I wonder what would have been born in Deione, had I not...

I dreamed of Cuilko. In his human form, of course, as was I. Strange, how I almost cannot remember my true body any longer. I do not think I can even call it my own anymore, since I spend so little time in it.

We were sitting as we once used to, overlooking the ocean. We had no need of words. We were simply together. A strange feeling came over me then, foreign and intrusive. But it was not unpleasant. It spread through my whole body; warm, like fire, but gentle, like water. I felt whole and protected, and all at the same time strangely vulnerable. I tried to tell Cuilko of it, but he silenced my words.

"I know, my dear boy," he told me. "I envy you this gift. Enjoy it for the both of us."

"Is this satisfaction?" I asked him then, and he looked at me strangely.

"No," he told me, laughing. "Oh no, my dear boy. It is something much better."

His laughter comforted me, and I felt... content.

When I woke, I remembered everything with astounding clarity. Everything but that strange sensation that had forced me to speak. It slipped through my memory, refusing to be caught and held even by my agile human hands. Strange, that I cannot recall its form, and it fills me with bitterness to know I have lost something, but to have no memory of what it is. I cannot imagine what it was that could have possibly brought one such as I any measure of joy. But I think of this dream, and I know that surely, it must have existed, somewhere, once. I wish I could remember.

AN: Whew. It's finished, my 50,000+ words in 30 days! This thing needs a major beta reading / fact checking / editing job done on it, but the point is, I got it done! Yay! Next year, no National Novel Writing Month challenge without having an outline first!

For anyone who might be confused about how or why this story happened, and why it ended this way - the idea behind "Desideratum" was to establish Vasilli as a real character, and sort of muddle through the question of how he became such a twisted, angry person capable of hurting others, rather than just throwing him into my stories as a stereotypical bad-guy-who-needs-to-get-defeated. In the end, he's still supposed to be an insufferable bastard, just not a one-dimensional, easy-to-hate one. I hope I succeeded in bringing that point across.

This whole thing was a sort of epic prequel to the story of "Nescience." It takes place a few years after "Desideratum" ends, and focuses on the adventures of Vasilli, Ralt and Laurent as their lives collide in a much more linear fashion, with a much more human POV. If you're interested in more, again I invite you to check out the web comic "Nescience." Remove the spaces from the following web address, and do not include a "www" at the start:

nescience . smackjeeves . com

Thanks again for reading this little quickly-written experiment to the end, and please, leave a review and let me know what you think of it!