He was running hard, as hard as he could - harder even. His Imperial Oneness wanted this one bottle of wine for the culmination of His banquet - already in progress. Costash '63; the finest bottle in the Imperium. One of a kind and he had been entrusted to fetch it and bring it back safely - and in time. Failure meant defenestration or worse so he ran. He ran hard, harder than he'd ever run before.
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He knew that the burning pain would come soon but he controlled his breathing and fought his body with his mind. It wouldn't work forever but it might work long enough. Long enough at least to deliver the wine.
The crossroads were in sight, just past them waited His Highness in His castle. Barely a half mile to the drawbridge. His breath raked its way up from his lungs across his Saharran tongue.
The pain was coming. If he could just make it past the crossroads he'd be okay. He willed himself on.
He was maybe fifteen feet from the beaten gravel cross when it hit - the blister of fire in his side that he'd been fighting for too long. He stopped as abruptly as he dared; one hand clutching his precious guts and the other the even more precious wine. He stopped not five feet from the intersection.
He swallowed air like it was his last meal and looked up as a horse-drawn carriage went thundering by him close enough to fan his hair.
In relieved agony he limped to the castle and into the main hall just as His Imperial Oneness was calling for His Costash.
He handed the wine to the head server and sat wearily in a nearby chair, reassured in the knowledge that he was safe now and knowing that...
A stich in time saves wine.
But would I be a good Messiah with my low self-esteem? / If I don't believe in myself would that be blasphemy? - The Bloodhound Gang Hell Yeah