Huddled in our makeshift camp at the base of the valley, we heard trickling water for the first time in years. We searched and found a little pool collecting a rivulet flowing off a high mountain. We drank our fill.
I climbed to the summit and was amazed by what I found.
The gateway opened to another, better world. On the other side, a stream flowed out of a grassy field. I felt the breeze on my face and heard actual birdsong. I smelled the fresh air.
I wandered through, enraptured. The soldiers waited for me just out of sight.

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