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"Science and science fiction, how do you even distinguish the two?"
- Jerry Pournelle

Powdered Alcohol  
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Embarking for the invasion came as a relief to everyone; better a nice quiet war than the suspicions and fears that swept the Glupost base during the following days. There were sudden inspections, midnight searches, constant alarms and the sound of marching boots at all hours. I would have been proud of my efforts at sowing the seeds of disorder if I had not been a victim of that disorder at the same time. The invasion plans must have gone ahead too far to alter because, in the midst of all the excitement, we still adhered to schedule. On B Day minus two all the bars closed so that the sobering up process of the troops could begin. A few reluctant ones, myself and Otrov included, had concealed bottles which carried us a bit further, but even this ended when our lockers and bags were put into storage and we were issued pre-packed invasion kits. I had a small can of powdered alcohol disguised as tooth powder that I was saving for an emergency and the emergency instantly presented itself as the thought of the coming weeks without drink, so Otrov and I finished the tooth powder on B Day minus one and that was that. After one last midnight spot check and search we were assembled and marched to the departure area. The fleet, row after row of dark projectiles, stood waiting beyond the gates. We were called out, one at a time, and sent to our assigned places.
From The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge, by Harry Harrison.
Published by Pyramid in 1970
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