The photos streamed slowly off of the developer, still glossy from the process. Murray ran the cutter across the white line defining a border between images and paused to look at them, to check for color balance and just out of sheer curiosity. He found a nice one to judge by — it was a high-contrast shot, and had better definition than the majority of amateurish pictures on the roll.

A wounded man stands in a field of bamboo, between twin rows of four stalks apiece, using a ninth as a crutch. His head is bandaged, with a look of resolve cast on his face. A path to mountains lays ahead of him, and it looks as if he plans to take the trail, regardless of the effort involved.

[edit, add, buffer.]

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