Author Topic: The Forever War - Part 04  (Read 735 times)

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Offline Haji (OP)

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The Forever War - Part 04
« on: September 18, 2022, 03:44:32 PM »

   A massive kinhalan fleet arrived in the Parana system. The jump point was under active observation by one of the Polish scout ships and the transit took several minutes as four vessels had to perform multiple jumps in order for the whole enemy force to enter.
   At the heart of the alien fleet were twenty one battleships, each massing eighty two thousand and eight hundred tonnes. Four of those were jump vessels, but that still left seventeen actual warships, larger than anything built by humans so far. Those were supported by four battlecruisers, similar to the ones that attacked seventy eight years prior, massing fifty nine thousand and eight hundred tonnes. Their limited number indicates the aliens have likely abandoned the class in favor of battleships.
   The fleet also comprised nine cruisers and fourteen destroyers. The former were thirty six thousand and eight hundred tonnes and the latter were nine thousand and two hundred tonnes. Overall the enemy have thrown forty eight warships with a combined mass of nearly two and a half million tonnes against the Parana system.
   The scout itself was safe, but the long enemy inactivity have made the Polish government complacent and one of the comets was only fifty four million kilometers from the jump point, well within missile range. While the mining ships have proven surprisingly resistant to damage, the government was not willing to experience the Korean War all over again and ordered the crews to abandon the four ships orbiting the comet. Other mining groups and the fuel harvesters were also ordered to scatter, moving towards Bialomost if they were in the inner system, or towards random empty space if they were not. The Republic had to preserve as many of their assets as possible.
   The Polish ready fleet comprises fourteen escort cruisers. One additional cruiser, the ORP Kopystrzyn, was undergoing a refit. Some destroyers and frigates were on picket duties or undergoing overhaul and those that weren’t were so small and old they were not considered to be part of the battle fleet.
   Korea had ten cruisers and eleven destroyers ready. Brazil had six destroyers and eleven cruisers ready. Taken together the Parana nations had around eight hundred and thirty thousand tonnes of warships, a third of what was coming. Fortunately the Republic and DPRK had a lot of missile bases and Brazil had a shell of twenty two orbital bases the smaller of which were somewhere between a destroyer and an escort cruiser in size and the larger ones were almost as large as regular cruisers.
   For two hours the aliens did nothing. The Intelligence speculated they were analyzing all data they could access and since most of the internet wasn’t encrypted, it was a lot. Considering the Unity observed Parana for unknown amount of time before the First Invasion the language would likely not be an issue.
   To everyones surprise the enemy set course for the C component. The Intelligence begun speculating that since Brazil had the largest shipbuilding industry they just became the primary target. This will also allow the aliens to strike something important while avoiding the heavy defenses in the inner system.
   The Polish and Korean fleet decided to stay put. Everyone remembered the failed Brazilian ambush during the first invasion and the two nations had no intention of repeating it.
   There was one piece of data that was interesting. Pretty much every nation in Parana have progressed technologically, seen easiest by the speed of the existing ships but the kinhalan force was still moving at eighteen hundred kilometers per second. However their ships, despite seemingly similar, had different energy signatures. The Intelligence believed that while the aliens may have stagnated technologically, the more likely explanation is that they simply did not upgrade their warships, preferring to build as many of them as possible instead. If true some of those vessels may be decades out of date.


   With the aliens halfway to their destination, the Korean fleet broke orbit and headed for the enemy entry point. Turns out that two of their cruisers were jump ships and they intended to take control of the kinhalan entry point. If they could do that and if the combined Parana fleets could set up ambush on the other side it may be possible to devastate the invading fleet as it was retreating.


   Eight Korean cruisers and two jump cruisers entered formation and jumped into the enemy system. They were never heard from again. It was obvious the aliens had either a blocking force or fortifications on the other side and while it is possible it has been nearly destroyed by the attack it is also possible it was powerful enough to repel all Parana could throw at it. Besides there were no dedicated assault ships left in the system as Korea was the only one to build them.
   The remaining eleven DPRK destroyers waited two hours before heading home.


   Several hours previously the alien fleet have used the Lagrange point to jump to the B component. Brazil wasn’t sharing anything with the other powers but suddenly detonations were detected. Considering they were one mega tonne in power those were likely enemy anti-missiles striking incoming ordnance.
   Their first volley intercepted three hundred and ninety nine. Over twenty eight hundred defensive detonations were detected before the Federal missile wave reached the fleet. Once that happened one hundred and forty two energy weapon impacts were detected followed by two hundred and twenty three missile detonations. While only a fraction of the Brazilian wave reached their targets, some ships had to be damaged and one destroyer have been killed.
   Twelve hours later sixty one nuclear detonations were detected less than four million kilometers from Amazonia. Over the next ninety seconds over fourteen hundred explosions were detected but it wasn’t enough and nearly five hundred broke through, striking she shipyards and destroying half of them.
   Half an hour later another series of explosions was detected. Brazilians intercepted over nine hundred missiles but the rest obliterated their remaining shipyards.   


   Shortly after midnight over a thousand anti-missile explosions are detected on the surface of Chapada, the innermost planet of the B component. It is a venusian world with several orbital habitats and numerous mines providing Amazonia with resources. Brazilian chatter confirms the aliens have just destroyed all the mines, but apparently the habitats remain untouched.
   Four and a half hours after the bombardment, the Federal Republic launched a second attack on the invaders. Only forty eight of their missiles reached their targets and there appeared to be no damage.


   The kinhalans jumped to the C component six hours ago and set course towards the primary star. After refining their course it turned out they are on their way to Turow. The dwarf planet is home to over twenty eight million people and has six hundred mines, half of them automated. It would take Marzanna over eleven years to replace them. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done as the dwarf planet is outside any static defenses and the Polish fleet is far too small to confront the enemy.


   The alien fleet arrived at Turow. As the dwarf planet had no atmosphere, they didn’t have to use their anti-missiles, instead using their laser batteries. Within five minutes all mines on the surface were destroyed.
   Before the attack Turow produced seven thousand tonnes of duranium and neutronium. The latter is plentiful, but there is only twenty thousand tonnes of the former in storage. This will have significant repercussions for the Republic.
   The alien fleet begun moving shortly after the attack, ignoring the habitats. Their course seemed to point towards nowhere, but the Intelligence believed the enemy was moving towards Pyongyang on an oblique course. Their presumed target was a gas giant orbited by three Korean mining colonies. All three are housed in orbital habitats which means the ground installations will be bombarded.
   The enemy seems to be avoiding causing collateral civilian casualties. There were two more Brazilian mining colonies around Parana B, but those were left alone as the population was housed in ground infrastructure and any attempt to destroy the mines would have likely resulted in significant casualties. Any orbital colony seems to be a fair game however.


   The invading fleet have steadied on their course several hours ago and now they’ve come under attack from Koreans. Judging by the numbers of detonation Brazil was launching between three thousand and thirty five hundred missiles, but Korea could fire six thousand although whether or not they had ammunition for that was unknown.
   Unfortunately right now Kim Jong and Marzanna were on opposite sides of the star which meant it will be impossible for the Republic to assist.
   Nearly two thousand missiles broke through, killing one battleship and one destroyer while leaving another battleship dead in space. Several minutes later it was abandoned.
   The enemy fleet split in two groups. One was moving towards Pyongyang. Another one was moving back towards the jump point, but they were slowed. Detailed analysis shows one vessel was likely heavily damaged and was escorted by a jump ship and a cruiser. The force was unlikely to escape but the enemy likely decided keeping a heavily damaged ship in formation will just result in her destruction and with defenders being glued to their planets no one should be able to intercept anyway, as they were moving directly away and had significant head start. There weren’t even any Lagrange points that could be used so it probably seemed like a justifiable risk for the aliens.
   Nearly four hours later, near midnight, the Polish fleet broke orbit and headed towards the jump point, although on an oblique course. The escort cruisers had speed of four thousand and four hundred kilometers per second and should arrive before the enemy. They disengaged their active sensors but it was unknown whether or not the invaders will see them on thermal sensors.
   It was still a risk however. Those fourteen cruisers carried over seven thousand anti-missiles which may be sorely needed for defense. However the enemy was so powerful that an opportunity to defeat a small task force in detail couldn’t be ignored.


   The alien fleet arrived near Pyongyang and over a period of an hour destroyed all mines on Daebong, Komdok and Sangnog. After that they moved to a point eighty million kilometers from Kim Jong and launched a missile attack.
   The Korean defenses have done well, shooting dawn most of the missiles, but enough of them broke through to destroy four of their yards. Nearly an hour later another attack was launched, but this time only one yard was destroyed.
   The Intelligence was fairly sure the aliens could fire at least one more volley but they apparently decided to keep it in reserve against human warships as they begun retreating. The smaller group with the damaged battleship have increased their speed slightly forcing the Polish escort cruisers to change course directly for the jump point in order to intercept them.
   An hour later the retreating group increased their speed yet again, now moving at nearly two thousand kilometers per second, confirming the enemy has improved their engines. Considering there has been eighty years between invasions their warships have likely very different capabilities at this point.
   While the aliens were retreating Korea launched a second attack. However they didn’t have enough ammunition for a full strike and launched only three and a half thousand missiles or so, judging by the numbers of detonations. They also apparently didn’t expect it to do much and focused all their fire on one of the battleships. However kinhalans must have been low on ammunition and the target must have been damaged quite heavily in the first strike because not only have it been completely destroyed, but the remaining missiles managed to retarget and kill three of the destroyers.
   Before midnight the small retreating group increased their speed to two thousand and four hundred kilometers per second which meant the Polish warships had no hope of catching them so they begun heading home.


   The alien fleet arrived at the jump point into their space and within minutes two more battleships have entered the system. The enemy have stayed put however.


   The two recently arrived battleships have jumped away. They seem to be some kind of support vessel, probably a collier which means the aliens are planning more attacks.


   The presumed colliers have arrived a day ago and now left again.


   The colliers delivered another load of munitions and retreated. This time however the bulk of the alien fleet begun moving on an oblique course towards Marzanna. The battleship that was escorted out has not returned and have probably been sent for repairs but all enemy jump ships have also stayed on the jump point. Either the enemy considers Poland to be much more dangerous opponent, or the loses they suffered from Koreans have made them realize they need to keep those four ships safe to ensure they can retreat and receive supplies.
   At any rate the kinhalan fleet still comprises thirteen battleships, four battlecruisers, nine cruisers and nine destroyers.


   The enemy fleet steadied their course towards the Polish capital, allowing the missile bases to finally fire.
   The Republic didn’t really want missiles, as they were expensive to manufacture but they had to have them against Korea. As a result they invested what they could into their capabilities and, almost by accident, ended up being able to launch the largest salvo of the three powers totaling twelve hundred and twenty Osa Bs for a grand total of sixty one hundred individual sub munitions.
   Those weren’t the newest missiles available to Poland but those were the only ones available in large enough numbers for a maximum sized, coordinated strike.
   Due to low speed of the main buses the strike needed nearly six hours to reach their targets. Zadlos however were a very different kettle of fish. Judging by the times and distances between first anti-missile explosions and ship strikes the Korean and Brazilian missiles were moving at around thirty thousand kilometers per second. The Republican munitions however were moving at forty eight thousand kilometers per second which should make them far more difficult target.
   In the end less than a thousand were stopped by alien interceptors and a hundred or so more by point defenses. Over five thousand slammed into the enemy fleet.
   The majority of those missiles were aimed at the battleships and the rest at cruisers. However it seemed Poland have spread their targets too thinly, forgetting that Zadlas had rather light, three mega tonne warheads. Not a single battleship fell out of formation although four cruisers have been destroyed and two more crippled.
   The aliens stayed in place for nearly an hour and after that they abandoned the two heavily damaged cruisers. Those were too deep to retreat and likely unable to keep up so this was probably the smartest decision.


   Thanks to the enormous range of Osas and the alien course, Poland managed to reload the bases. The enemy was only seven hours away from their estimated firing position, but it didn’t matter.
   Two large bases were armed with nearly eight hundred newest generation Osas, submunitions of which had speed of sixty thousand kilometers per second, so most should actually reach their targets. Smaller bases were armed with three hundred and sixty of the first generation munitions. Coordination was essentially impossible and those were much slower, but they should force the aliens to use some of their remaining ammunition.
   After this there will be only eighty Osa Bs remaining so third strike will be impossible no matter how much time the Republic will buy.
   The larger, more modern strike was aimed at eight battleships, same as previously. While it was potentially spreading the Polish fire too much, some of the targets were already damaged and kinhalans have either withdrawn or abandoned vessels that were damaged too heavily. As such it was considered to be a reasonable division of fire.
   The alien defensive fire was borderline ineffective and five of the targets have been annihilated outright while one more was crippled. Within minutes she was abandoned and scuttled as well. The second, smaller missile strike arrived nearly two hours later and to everyone’s surprise scored over two hundred and seventy hits. Unfortunately those missiles had only two mega tonne warheads and the targeted battlecruiser appeared to be unharmed, not counting any armor damage.
   The alien fleet have been ravaged but it still comprised seven battleships, four battlecruisers, three cruisers and nine destroyers. The fourteen Polish warships couldn’t meet them in deep space and that of course meant no one else would be willing to help. The Republic will have to take the alien missile attack before any assault on the aliens can be considered.
   Hours later the aliens have launched nearly two thousand missiles moving at forty thousand kilometers per second. The escort cruisers with their railguns and gauss cannons were staying in orbit of Marzanna as the naval yards were ultimately more expendable than civilian ones. Poland was using a combination of the second and third generation (newest) Iglas, as they didn’t have enough of the latter to arm all the bases. In the end not one hostile shipkiller managed to get through.
   An hour later another salvo arrived, but this time it was only nine hundred and forty missiles. It couldn’t defeat the Polish defenses but it was possible the invaders either launched it before the first one arrived or they were hoping to run the Republic out of ammunition.
   Another salvo arrived and suffered similar fate. Shortly after the alien fleet begun withdrawing.
   The Intelligence believed that some of the enemy ships are armed with single shot box launchers, hence the difference in size between the first salvo and the follow ups. If so the invaders had only two thousand shipkillers remaining and those would be fired in two waves. If so the Polish fleet could easily withstand it, although there was still some possibility of suffering loses. The issue was what would happen after that. The kinhalan fleet still had over a million tonnes of military shipping, compared to the two hundred and twenty thousand of Polish fleet and while the Republic should have some advantages in short range combat due to not using tonnage for offensive missiles, those were still daunting odds. They needed help.
   Korea has been staying put, but Brazil have sent their entire fleet to the jump point. During negotiations about what to do next they admitted their fleet is far weaker than it seemed. First their maximum speed is only two thousand and four hundred kilometers per second. While higher than what the main alien force is capable of, the battleship that was retreating after being damaged by Korea have been moving at two thousand and seven hundred kilometers per second. This means the Federation can never hope to catch the enemy if they split their force and abandon slower vessels.
   Second the main reason Brazil lost the yards was an oversight in their construction practices. Their older warships and bases had nearly eight thousand anti-missiles in single shot box launchers, however they never upgraded their fire controls which were designed to deal with much slower munitions. As a result those never fired and that also means that the fleet has very limited anti-missile capabilities as only seven of their newer cruisers can actually engage incoming shipkillers. 
   Also while not exactly an unanticipated problem, their missiles are constructed for maximum defense penetration and power and as a such can engage from only very low ranges of about thirty million kilometers.
   Taking all of that into account Brazil have decided that the best way to utilize their warships is to destroy the jump ships and trap the main fleet in the Parana system or to make those ships run, take over jump point and make the aliens come to them. However the missiles of the main enemy fleet do worry them so they asked Poland to make the first move and to try and run kinhalans out of ammunition.
   In the end the Republic agreed. Fortunately their ground bases had so many launchers their ships didn’t have to use theirs and they are equipped with the newest anti-missiles already. As such they were ready to sortie right away.


   Seven hours into the chase, the Polish warships were over forty million kilometers away when the expected nine hundred and forty strong missile salvo arrived. What was not expected was their low speed of thirty thousand kilometers per second. It appeared the enemy have run out of modern munitions and was using older ones, which will make the job much easier.
   The last missile was stopped four hundred thousand kilometers from the Republican force. They then resumed their chase, closing to four million kilometers and keeping their range steady, but no new missile attacks arrived. Either the aliens were out of ammunition and could launch only four salvos, despite what the Intelligence believed, or they realized long range strikes simply won’t connect and they are holding their last missiles to utilize at ranges so low anti-missiles would become essentially ineffective.
   A thousand missiles could do an enormous amount of damage and Poland was not willing to risk it. Brazil and Korea argued that someone has to make the first move, to take the loses in order to properly engage the aliens and since Poland has their yards, it should be them, but for now the Republic decided to simply shadow the invaders.


   The four jump battleships suddenly disappeared while at the same time the main alien force abandoned their oblique course and begun moving straight towards the jump point. The Brazilian fleet was one hundred and sixty five million kilometers away and was likely detected.
   Hours later, near midnight, the Federal fleet arrived at the jump point. The main invading force was nearly three days away.
   During all this Poland and Brazil have been pressuring Korea to send their destroyers. While they are weak, there are eleven of them and they would be better than nothing but DPRK was very resistant due to, according to them, the danger Poland presented. However the other two nations were able to bring enough pressure on them to contribute.
   Their ships are capable of three thousand kilometers per second so they should arrive at the jump point before the aliens.


   The Polish fleet used their superior speed to outmaneuver the enemy and arrived at the jump point, joining the ships already there. In total humans had forty two warships massing a total of nearly six hundred and eighty thousand tonnes against an alien force of twenty three warships massive over a million tonnes.
   The human force refused to fire for now. It was almost certain the enemy had anti-missile left and if they managed to get through the jump point they will be able to re-arm and continue to destroy Paranas infrastructure. This strike had to count so the missiles had to be launched in a situation where the alien point defense would be far less effective.
   The invaders apparently thought the same, as they initially held their fire. Once they were less then three million kilometers away they fired everything, both anti-missiles and shipkillers. The strike was somewhat coordinated at launch, but the offensive missiles had different speed and there were two different generations of interceptors involved, so the strike became a stream.
   Humans weren’t launching their anti-missiles in defensive mode however, instead doing what the aliens were doing, firing them as a distraction so that their shipkillers could get through. While that was happening Polish crews were trying to manually engage incoming heavy missiles, ignoring the anti-missiles, a near impossible feat considering how quickly the events were progressing.
   Paranians launched when the first incoming ordnance was only seven hundred thousand kilometers away. Korea launched three hundred and thirty missiles and eight hundred and eighty anti-missiles. Brazil launched twenty one hundred and twenty missiles and thirty two hundred and fifty anti-missiles.
   Poland have stopped a lot of shipkillers, but some got through and ORP Koronowo have been destroyed. The enemy however was doing far worse. Five destroyers, two battlecruisers and three battleships have been annihilated.
   The enemy however was still launching anti-missiles and only Polish warships had gauss cannons so a lot of them were getting through. Those were targeted at the smallest ships, namely the Korean destroyers and seven of them were killed.
   As the missile storm ended the Polish crews realized there was one more wreck. Apparently the aliens have abandoned and scuttled one of their battleships, leaving only three on the field together with two battlecruisers and supported by three cruisers and four destroyers.
   The Polish and Brazilian fleets begun moving to meet the enemy, but Koreans begun to withdraw, pointing out they’ve lost the most of the three powers. There was no argument, as there was no time for it.
   The two remaining human nations have agreed to close to two hundred thousand kilometers and then keep firing until one side is finished. They also agreed to start with the smallest ships, to quickly trim dawn the alien numbers.
   As the Polish ships were faster, they entered the enemy range first. ORP Malbork was the first alien target. However she had very heavy armor for her size so she continued to stay in formation.
   Poland seemed to have better energy weapons than the enemy and they quickly disabled one of the destroyers while ORP Malbork still had the vast majority of her armor. The Republic switched to a second destroyer and killer her quickly. While they begun working on the third one, the damaged cruiser was ordered to withdraw. She had only light internal damage, losing one of her crew quarters and had quite a bit of armor left, but there was no reason to needlessly lose her. She got hammered during the retreat, but she survived.
   As the last destroyer have been killed, the Brazilian force finally arrived. They targeted one of the cruisers so Poland decided to target one of the battlecruisers. The aliens have responded by targeting ORP Chojnice. The new targets were far more resilient to damage and she had to withdraw before any aliens were knocked out of formation, with ORP Dabki being the new target.
   The battle continued in this form. The aliens seemed to focus on Polish warships and whenever one was too heavily damaged she would withdraw while Poland and Brazil poured their fire into the kinhalan fleet.
   The battle was going reasonably well. An alien cruiser was destroyed, followed by a battlecruiser and then Poland had some bad luck. ORP Grotniki was the current target and her armor was barely dented when a shock damaged have caused one of her engines to explode, crippling her. There was no point sacrificing the remaining crew just so she could draw fire for a little longer, so she was ordered abandoned and scuttled.
   Another cruiser was destroyed before the aliens arrived at the jump point. The energy duel continued, with everyone wondering what the aliens intended to do as they had no jump ships. Over three minutes after the aliens arrived ORP Wilkomierz have been destroyed by internal explosion triggered by shock damage. By this point all kinhalan cruisers and destroyers were gone and the humans were working on the only remaining battlecruiser. After her there were three battleships waiting to be destroyed. Seconds later four jump battleships have appeared.
   Later analysis will conclude that the aliens have begun moving directly towards the jump point specifically to simplify estimation of the arrival time. The fact that the jump battleships arrived within two hundred seconds of the fleet was near miraculous but it also meant the human powers had no time. Orders were given for all ships to close the range to try and kill as many enemies as was possible. They weren’t fast enough. The kinhalan fleet retreated twenty seconds later.
   It was unlikely they will return any time soon as their navy has been shattered and their remaining ships couldn’t possibly have enough missiles to get through human point defense. But even so no chances will be taken. The Brazilian fleet suffered no loses so it will head home to re-arm and than will begin picketing the jump point. Most of the Polish fleet was damaged and Korea had almost no warships, so it will be all on the Federation.
   The one damaged alien destroyer was abandoned and scuttled.


   The Brazilian fleet is back at the jump point. There has been no sign of kinhalans and while the Federal fleet will be able to stay only for a year or so, no one really expects another attack any time soon.
   The invasion has been devastating. Brazil has lost all their shipyards and some of their mines. The latter aren’t really that big a deal for them but recreating their shipbuilding capacity will take huge amounts of time.
   Korea have lost over a thousand mines, over half of them automated. At their current manufacturing rates it would take them twenty seven years to rebuild it. It is unknown how large stockpiles they have but they apparently intend to expand their industry before building more mines. They are receiving some minerals from their home world, which has deposits of only four of them and their colony of Chogjin in Bialomost but it simply isn’t enough. The situation is so bad they won’t be building any new yards for now as there is simply no point. On the other hand two of theirs have survived, together with three commercial ones so they have shipbuilding capability.
   Poland is in a very difficult situation. They were barely mining enough for their needs and even then there were times when they had mercassium shortages. Losing mines in Turow can be a devastating blow for them. For now Marzanna is building three hundred mines, a process that will take three and a half years and will give back the dwarf planet half of their former capability but they do not intend to build any automated mines for Turow. They may build new habitats, but that is also in doubt.
   In addition while the fuel harvesters are on their way back to Perun, the cometary mining operations will all be moved outside the system. They simply cannot afford to lose them as their lack of mineral stockpiles means any interruption of fresh deliveries would grind the nation to a halt. Unfortunately the ships will need a lot of time to relocate, sometimes in excess of a year and the resulting logistical networks will need a lot of freighters and fuel.
   The one piece of good news is that their shipyards are intact. Warships are being produced and, more importantly, more fuel harvesters, mining vessels, freighters and colony ships are in the pipeline. Those will be invaluable in preparing for the next invasion.
   One potential problem on the industrial front are missiles. The Republic focuses on missile defenses not only because of the aliens but also because of Koreans. As a result only a quarter of their manufacturing goes to Osas. That however translates to only seventy missiles – three hundred and fifty submunitions – per year. Unfortunately both Marzanna and Baszta are filled to capacity and cannot enlarge the missile production sector, but that is something that will have to change.
   Poland isn’t the only one out of missiles, Korea is in the same situation and Brazil is little better. It is becoming increasingly obvious the aliens have the industrial power to take all Parana nations at once.
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Offline Garfunkel

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Re: The Forever War - Part 04
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2022, 10:55:36 PM »
What a riveting story! It's also nice to see focus on different nations instead of the usual big players. Never expected to see Poland-Brazil-North Korea sharing a system like this!
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