This story is part of the community effort on the Emperor's Nightmare chapter.
- Brother Adelphos of the Emperor's Nightmare chapter let out a breath as his hands worked their way with the swiftness that came with decades of experience. Though his sight was filled with only the darkness the blindfold could offer, he was not hampered in anyway.
- The Emperor gifts, his augmentations, made him more than a mere man. Even now, his skin felt the slightest of breezes even through the recycled air of the Battle Barge. The papery parchment of his Purity Seal ticked at his cheeks as his movement jostled the blindfold and its attached cargo. The cured leather of his blindfold soothes He could smell the holy oils that the room had been anointed with, and the faint whines of servos told him that his fellow brothers were doing much the same as he was right now. Anyone fool enough to think him vulnerable was too stupid to breathe.
- Practiced fingers lifted a hinged lid, and from it, Brother Adelphos gently lifted a small object. Seemingly made from simple twine and feathers, the Dreamcatcher was a marvel of technology. It had been created by the craftsmen of Mars, of the mysterious Machine Cult, and designed with the aid of the Scholasta Psykana to aid his chapter and him alone. The deceptive looking thing was actually made with the intention of harnessing Psychic energy. So very useful for him. The Librarians spoke of how in ancient days, before even the founding of the Imperium, they had been used to protect children, by snaring malevolent daemons of the Warp. Such records were heavily fractured and unreliable of course, but a small part of him reveled in the legend. Of course, this Dreamcather was far different. His thoughts and dreams would fuel the beacon. It was the Chapter's greatest weapon against the horrors of the Warp. And it in turn gave them a mote of protection. It was believed that the Emperor made himself known through it, and as long as the Brother gave it their protection, he too would give the Marines solace.
- His idle thoughts, his rage and fury, all of it would be sharpened to a fine point with this focus. This Dreamcatcher had belonged to Sergeant Iskander himself.
- He hung it above his head before sitting down, ready to start his rest cycle. The Emperor's Nightmare Chapter had been the butt of more than one joke among other Marines. Some sneered that the Nightmares were of no use considering their mutation. But Adelphos knew his own capabilities, and more than one foe had felt the teeth of his chainsword. It could not be denied however, that his brothers grabbed elusive sleep whenever possible. Any respite, any chance would be taken without a second thought. It was a small joke that for the Nightmares, their free time was rest time. Every few seconds of fervered sleep meant more seconds to fight, and more time to stave off his inevitable collapse.
- He breathed in deeply before Adelphos began his prayers.
- "My Emperor, I give you now my offerings, let this darkness consume me, for your light will ensure its failure. Let your glory fill my limbs, and may my wrath consume your foes," he murmured.
- Other Brothers had already started their prayers, and with effort, Adelphos blocked them out to focus on his own thoughts, though now that the Dreamcatcher had started to whirl as its archaic components activated, made it difficult.
- Every bit of emotion he could conjure went into the thing. It was as though the Dreamcather was an empty basin, and his mind a full pitcher. Adelphos' jittery nerves calmed as he poured all his worries and thoughts. Minutes later, Adelphos' mind was as clear as it ever got, and though surrounded by Chapter Serfs and fellow Brothers, he felt alone.
- He let out one last breath, and waited for a sleep that would never come.