They stood in the depths of the Warmaster’s battle ship. Listening, they were clad in hoods, and their eyes were blind. They heard more then any man or woman in the Imperium. Three wise astropaths who had spent their long lives listening to the warp. What they heard now was different, it was changing. Things would not be the same, they knew that now.
“What shall the three of us do, go to the halls of demons.” Said one astropath
“The fighting of the Warmaster are not quite yet complete, only a few days now”. Answered the second.
“We will be needed in the inner sanctum, for this is where our path treads”. Said the third.
The three astropaths just looked at each other linking their minds, so many words were useless to them. For the deeds of the future were implanted to each of their heads and it was clarity that was needed. As they reached out with their minds to touch each others, the room got cold. They saw the images of the future as clear as day and they clarity arrived.
“We go to the Lord General, we must speak with Macbeth”, they now talked as one in their minds.
The chimes of order sounded through the huge vessel which belonged to Sebastian Thor’s general. The Warmaster Duncan had spent the last thirty years pushing back the tides of imperial enemies. The civil war may have long ended but the damage was not undone, not yet. For today was a great day, for the Imperium and Duncan. The greatest rebel leader had be slain at the heart of his empire. A man who had claimed the God-Emperor’s realm for himself in the wake of the civil war. With such a man dead it would be the turning tide in the battles to come.
Many claimed and rightfully so that this victory was down to a great lord general, he had served the Warmaster from the beginning and had always represented his fury. Everyone knew how brave he was, for he had fought on the front lines on Holy Terra itself. Now the great Macbeth was to be honoured by all of the crusades staff.
The great hall of the Warmasster was long and filled with many great pictures of those who had battled in the wars of Sebastion Thor. The room was dimly lit for Duncan had grown accustomed to the gloom of space. It had been said that the last time he had stepped onto a planet was when he left Terra under Lord Thor’s orders.
They had all gathered around a fine table made from Narlwood. It served the greatest delicacies from across the galaxy, only the best for Warmaster Duncan and honourable Macbeth. Though this victory was not just Macbeths but it also belonged to another Lord General. Pure Banquo they called him, for his purity of faith matched his purity of features. It had been Banquo’s battles on the enemy supply lines that made them weak for Macbeth’s furious attack.
Pictures of Macbeth and Banquo stood behind the Warmaster on this dinner. Macbeth seemed the opposite of Banquo, for where as Banquo was angelic like the great Primarch of the Blood Angels. Macbeth was more the visage of a man from Fenris. His long dark hair was often shaggy and he did his best to cover his scarred face, yet he was noble to listen to.
“Hail our greatest generals”, bellowed Duncan. He was an old man now and looked it. His head was balding and his once muscular frame looked tired and old. His dark skin seemed to go grey for its years of rejuvenation to keep serving the Imperium. “I honour the great Admiral Ross”, he indicated to a small man who looked apt for serving on vessels.
“God-Emperor hail the Warmaster”, was his simplest of replies.
“Tell all of your battles”.
“The fleet of our great navy went straight into the heart of the enemy fleet my lord. Whilst bravest Macbeth battled on the ground we smashed the enemies ships into the rocks of a great asteroid field. They will never blaspheme against the God-Emperor again”.
“Tell me where is Macbeth and Banquo, for this dinner has it not begun in their honour”, he enquired.
“Knowing them my lord they are ever at the enemies throats”, replied Admiral Ross.
They were late, he cursed himself. Today of all days, this was the first time that the staff had been gathered in over twelve years and they were late. Macbeth made his way with great purpose desperate to be at the dinner, Banquo was at his side. Where as Macbeth seemed agitated and anxious to get to dinner, Banquo seemed completely relaxed with the entire situation.
The generals were not that far from the hall of Duncan, they had spent too much time drinking and catching up in Macbeth’s quarters. Lady Macbeth had prepared them both with the finest ales that she always kept for the nights of Banquol and Macbeth. These nights had become legendary and had proven to be great for morale, for every member of the Imperial Guard could say they had a drink with them and had shared many tales.
This was not meant to be one of those nights, at least not yet. First they had to celebrate with Duncan and hear how the war was going. A great victory may have been won, there were still others to come and Macbeth wanted to make sure that Imperial rule was restored.
“Careful Macbeth or your bound to suffer heart problems like that”, he jokingly asked his friend.
“I know my friend, I just don’t want to disappoint Duncan”, Macbeth replied.
“Haha, as if you could. You have given him a planet back to the Imperium. Besides you know he loves you as much as he does his own sons”.
Macbeth went to turn and laugh at the absurdness of his friends joke only to be taken by surprise. Standing behind Banquo were the ships Astropaths. Sensing them Banquo turned swiftly to gaze on the weirdness of those warp touched. Banquo had always been untrustworthy of psykers and he took a few steps back getting closer to Macbeth.
The three astropaths spoke as one which gave an eirie feeling. “Glory be to Lord General Macbeth, master of the Cawdor system and the future Warmaster”.
Both men seemed shocked with what they heard the astropaths say. Banquo uneasily put his hand to the las pistol that hung holstered at his side. “These words sound remarkably like sorcery and I trust it not. For what you say is most likely lies from your lips, if you could see the future then you would no my fate also”.
“Of course, we see much. It is your destiny to be lesser then he you love and greater. To enjoy less and happiness and much more. Those of your blood will be recognised great women for as long as the Imperium lasts”.
Macbeth laughed a big hearty laugh which caused all to pause and look at the Lord General. “This has been quite a jest you play on us. I am not master of the Cawdor system, these arent prophecies, it is some joke. Did Macduth put you up to this”.
The Astropaths just stared back the generals with their empty sockets. They soon grew tired and left them to go back to their inner sanctum.
“I think we have been drinking way to much Amasec again my friend”, laughed Banquo. “Either that or we have three witches that should be killed.
“Your daughters a destined for greatness”, he answered in a half daze.
“Well you are going to be Warmaster”.
“Do not forget also master of the Cawdor system”, they both laughed now and made their way at a much slower pace towards Duncan’s great hall. It did not take either of them that long for they new their way well in the maze of corridors and door hatches.
The both entered feeling rather foolish at being so late. Most of the faces were of leaders who looked disappointed in their generals. Only Duncan seemed pleased at their arrival, his eyes lit up as if seeing long lost relatives for the first time.
Admiral Ross stood up and raised a glass towards the generals. It was clear by the way he swaggered that the man was definitely drunk. Having been at Duncan’s finest drink for the entire meal.
“All hail the new regent of the Cawdor system, hail Macbeth the honourable”, his voice slurred.
Macbeth’s head swam with the news and even Banquol seemed extremely shocked with what had been said. They both went forward towards the table listening to the applause of the military commands, even Duncan was clapping them. Macbeth took his seat with thoughts of being Warmaster.
Very interesting start, you've picked an excellent story to reimagine in the 40k context. I am intrigued to see how you develop it.
Thank you very much, i hope to have part 2 up next week
Sat next to the Warmaster was his own son, a simple commander called Malcolm. Malcolm looked much like Duncan in body and face. A strong muscular tone, with a regal face filled with eyes of greatness. He was much younger then his father and represented what Duncan use to look like. Only Malcolm was nothing like Duncan in mind, his campaigns had the least success. He lacked the vision to oversee an overall combat, sure he could lead a single battlefield and win it. Once battles expanded beyond his own front door he was lost and it had been Macbeth that had saved Malcolm on hundreds of occasions.
“Father I hear gladly the title you give to Macbeth and am as grateful as anyone that such a fine general be awarded justly”. He said. Macbeth initially thought that Malcolm was mocking him, but the look of pure adoration Malcolm gave him washed his paranoia away.
“Our enemy is dead thanks to Macbeth and Banquol the system of Cawdor has fallen. They will not ever turn their back on the Imperium. I want you my son to go to the system and ensure that ignorance never resurfaces. This world must stay within the Imperium.” All nodded in acknowledgement to Duncan’s wise words.
Macbeth raised a glance in salute to Duncan and Malcolm, all followed Macbeth’s gesture which warmed Duncan’s face to see such praise from his generals.
“I am greatly honoured by your presence Macbeth, had it not been for you then I could not gift you with Cawdor. And you Banquol I am also greatly heartened by all you have done for me, rewards for you will swiftly follow on from Macbeth”.
Banquol stood and bowed to Duncan and then nodded to his best friend Macbeth. “My reward gentlemen is to fight in your name for the good of the Imperium. The light of Sebastian Thor’s teaching’s is forgotten in this realm of humanity. We have no Astartes to help us with our wars, only the light of the Emperor aids us. I am mostly grateful that this shines brightest in honourable Macbeth”. Macbeth was moved by his friends words and everyone toasted Banquol and Macbeth for their great deeds.
“It pleases me to know such men”, said Duncan. “I know I am not long for this galaxy and soon I go to join the Emperor. I hope to see this war complete, but I am grateful my son Malcolm will carry on my legacy and that you all will aid him to victory as you have done me”.
Macbeth now stood up with a smile on his face, with warmth in his eyes. “I would be unhappy of that day, not to be following Malcolm, for he is just. But to not face the wars without you my Lord would be a pain to my heart. Now I am sorry I must take my leave. Lady Macbeth would like to see me and we all know what she’s like when she does not get her way.”
The room roared with laughter for everyone knew of Lady Macbeth’s impatience when it came to matters of her husband. Duncan got up and embraced Macbeth before he went and took his seat back down. A look of sorrow filled his face at having to watch his general go. For it was known that Duncan loved Macbeth like a son.
When Macbeth opened the door of his quarters on his own vessel, he beamed with excitement. Sitting on the floor reading a data slate was the most beautiful woman. The bed sheets were rapped around her covering her perfectly curved woman body. She had long red hair and still looked like a young lady waiting to be married. Her form was petite and her breast were tattooed with an imperial eagle. Each wing spread out onto a breast whilst the heads nuzzled her cleavage.
Lady Macbeth was clearly reading the public notice of Macbeth being awarded the title of regent of Cawdor. The new was spreading through out the fleet and no doubt most of the soldiers would be toasting to Macbeth’s good health. She was clearly happy with the news she was reading.
“Lord Regent of Cawdor are you then husband”, he only nodded to his wife. “It is apt that you should gain such a lofty title for all you have sacrificed for this crusade”.
“It is a worthy title and I heard it first from the lips of those warp touched, before Duncan even announced it”. He sat down on the bed stroking his wife’s red hair. “They seemed so sure of the future they even said that I would be Warmaster”.
A chime came on the door, Lady Macbeth covered her breasts and beckoned whoever to enter. An ordinary soldier just stood their gazing at Lady Macbeth and not even acknowledging the Lord General.
“Can I help you good man”, he asked with a smile on his face. Macbeth knew that most men desired his wife, he never got jealous over it knowing that she was utterly devoted to himself.
“Erh… yes sir, sorry sir. Warmaster Duncan has asked if he could spend a few days in your company and is already docking on you own ship sir.”
“What an honour”, said Lady Macbeth. “Long have I missed our lord, will he not be needed for the crusade”.
“After a respite for all he will return to his ship and we shall all continue, a celebration time has commenced on Lord Duncan’s orders”.
The solider left and closed the door behind himself. Lady Macbeth smiled at her husbund and leaned towards the bed and pulled out an old string instrument. In ancient times it had been called a guitar, Macbeth had liked that name and enjoyed his wife’s singing all the more. For she had the voice of an immortal being chosen of the Emperor.
“You could do that my dear or you could do something else”, he said with a twinkle in his eye. Following her husband’s meaning she let the bed sheets fall to the floor and smiled back at her husband.
Macbeth had only just made it in time to the embankment deck with his wife standing beside him. She was in a long white dress with a flower in her hair. She held her guitar with her ready to sing for the soldiers. Both looked sweaty and exhausted and several of the soldiers sniggered at their appearance, knowing what they had been up to.
The door to the shuttle bay opened to reveal Banquol with a smile on his perfect features. Duncan and Malcolm were behind him, who looked equally pleased to see Macbeth. Duncan stepped forward taking Lady Macbeth’s hand and kissing it gently. A forth individual arrived he was a towering imposing man wearing a long black trench coat. He had a red sash to mark him as a commissar and he carried a power sword and an antique las pistol. His head was completely shaved bald.
“Commissar Macduff, always a pleasure”, said Lady Macbeth bowing in honour of the men assembled before her.
“Great friends it honours me to spend this resting time in your keeping until we beginning the campaign”. Duncan addressed Lady Macbeth with this. For many felt that she was head of her house hold.
“Everything we have we give to you gentlemen. For it pleases us both to be in your company. How long it has been since I have seen you my Lord and I missed you much”. Lady Macbeth had to stand on tip toes to kiss Duncan on the cheek.
Duncan turned to Macbeth gazing into his noble features, there was fierce pride in his eyes has he embraced Macbeth. “Here is my Regent of Cawdor, greatest general in my army”. He turned to lady Macbeth still embracing his lord general. “We all love this man, for he is dear to us, I hope you don;tm ind us borrowing him. For there are things men do that a lady should not have to see,”
“Though it is not long since you fine men have eaten I will prepare a banquet, and sing to you all what words I know.” Lady Macbeth turned and bowed once more at the general.
Macduff barked an order to a soldier from behind where he had come, soon two men came forward holding a great. They put it down beside Macduff and took a step back.
“I had to confiscate this from soldiers”, said the commissar in his usual bland tone. Opening the crate up was a large amount of bottle of expensive amasec. How a soldier got it was amazing, “We better drink it”.
All the commanders laughed at the revelation, except Macduff who just chuckled. Which was usually pretty lively from him.