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"Science fiction represents the modern heresy and the cutting edge of speculative imagination as it grapples with Mysterious Time---linear or non-linear time."
- Frank Herbert

Softener Key  
   

He picked up the flat-nosed softener key...

Twing was tough, but not invulnerable...Phssthpok applied the softener key to the twing. Thump - and a foot of crude glass rod slammed through the twing.

From Protector, by Larry Niven.
Published by Del Rey in 1973
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