Image from Steve Bowers
The terrorist attack in 642 as seen by a passing fleet of volatile tankers
A Lunar settlement which rose to infamy due to a spate of terrorist attacks during the Dark Ages.

Dinboche was an equatorial nearside settlement, governed as a directly-democratic republic under corporate suzerainty and economic governance. It was first built by the Lunar Development Wing of Dugla-Dugla, a major corporation of the period. It prospered, centred around the mining and robotics industry, and around its partnerships with space-based solar power firms in lunar orbit.

It was hard hit by the Technocalypse, with many of the surface habitat modules being abandoned. However, the majority of the population of Dinboche dwelt in sealed lunar lava tubes in any case, and the settlement was able to begin recovery prior to the onset of the Expulsion refugees. Crucially, construction/manufacturing infrastructure and transport links to other settlements in the area were re-established.

Beginning in 624 AT, Dinboche constructed a sprawl of subterranean warrens, marked by low-lying above-ground mounds, and began accepting the Expelled. A number of lava tubes were also converted into accommodation. Problems ensued almost immediately, with the Dinbocheans and the Expelled having quite different cultural, political and ideological frameworks. Dinboche was an English-speaking settlement, with its own dialect of Lunar English, and a distinct cultural background centred on North America, the Caribbean and Southern Africa. Most of the inhabitants were superiors, cyborgs and aioids. They ran the colony itself by direct democracy, but were happy with the corporation Dugla-Dinboche running their economy and managing much of their foreign policy. The refugees were from a variety of countries, but 80% were from China, and of the remaining 20% around half were from other East Asian countries. The refugee population quickly came to outnumber the residents. The incomers were Mandarin-speaking and were of a variety of ideologies, but in general were far more accepting of state power but less accepting of corporate governance than the residents, and so many began agitating for the disestablishment of Dugla-Dinboche's status in the colony.

In response, separate jurisdictions were set up, with the warrens electing their own local councils which would act to govern them at a local level, and act to represent them before governing agents set up by the main colony. They also were able to elect spokespeople to speak on their behalf to the general populace of Dinboche, who made most of the domestic policy decisions. Even as the populations rose, groups within the warrens continued campaigning for greater autonomy for their own settlements, while others, both in Dinboche and within the warrens, spoke out against them on the grounds of security in the emergency situation.

As the flow of refugees began to ebb in the 640s, it seemed that Dinboche would stabilize. There was popular support among the resident and warren populations for the establishment of a Dinboche Federation, which would be composed of one division constituting Old Dinboche and seven divisions constituting the Warrens, would put foreign policy in the hands of the civilian government but give Dugla-Dinboche a special advisory capacity, and would retain a favoured position for the corporation in the economy. The situation changed dramatically with the first of the New Yuga movement's uprisings in 643.

The New Yuga movement was a radical Vaishnava sect that had been born in China during the Last War. They held the belief that the collapse of society occurring as a result of the Technocalypse was a sign of the imminent arrival of Kalki, the final avatar of Vishnu who would destroy the universe and create it anew. While this has been thought to be hundreds of thousands of years in the future by the literalist Vaishnava mainstream, the New Yuga movement believed that the depravity of the adharmic society was such that it could be brought on early. The New Yuga movement saw their duty as being to sacrifice themselves to the destruction of the forces of adharma and the creation of a Vaishnava society even in these last days, thereby proving themselves as fit for attaining liberation upon Kalki's arrival. They opposed AIocracy, technology-enabled democracy, meat, onion, garlic, pepper and mushroom consumption, promiscuity, genetic modification and cyborgisation. Many adherents had already been radicalized and battle-trained during the Last War.

In 643, following the decision by the provincial populace to put a slaved AI in charge of much of the economy and infrastructure, a New Yuga cell in Tijali (a warren system) transmitted a number of viruses into the life support computronium and blew up several of the major habitats using explosives. 2,000 people died, including 5 of the attackers. Broadcasts by the Dinboche Vaishnava Front claimed responsibility, and urged all listeners to surrender their worldly attachments and demonstrate their surrender to Lord Krishna by endeavoring to dismantle adharmic society.

Immediate security lockdown ensued, with a panicked populace allowing Dugla-Dinboche to seize control of all infrastructure and surveillance. Dugla-Dinboche's governing ai, Ray Butler, began interviewing the entire warren population, and put restrictions on the movements of all known Vaishnavas, with several New Yuga movement adherents detained. Soon some of the warrens were turning against the emergency government - Goljung, Langtang and Bhaktapur declared themselves as self-governing until the return of the old government as the Democratic Dinboche Provinces, while Tijali, Nagarkot, Abhiraw and Banganga supported the emergency lockdown by Ray Butler until the terrorist threat could be eliminated. Cyberwarfare ensued in the Democratic Provinces, as Ray Butler carried out eir imperative to preserve order and enforce protection against the New Yuga movement. A second viral attack, this time on the security software of Goljung and Nagarkot resulted in the disappearance of many citizens, assumed to be New Yuga cell-members heading off to hidden settlements in the surrounding plains. Bitter condemnation of the Democratic Provinces by the Dugla Loyalist Provinces and Old Dinboche, at having forced Ray Butler to split focus by their insurrection, raised tensions still further.

By this point, many residents of the Old Dinboche and the warrens had begun to evacuate on the trains to other major settlements, but these were often ill-equipped to take on new settlers, and in the paranoid prevailing mood other settlements were wary of potential terrorists among the refugees.

Continued attacks by New Yuga operatives over the next decade, combined with stern security lockdowns and segregation of potential agents (a large proportion of the population), destroyed the settlement's stability entirely. A lava tube was blown up, and a New Yuga group took over Bhaktapur for several months, converting by the sword and massacring dissidents, in particular exiling or executing meat-eaters, atheists and AI Confucianists. Pulses of Dinboche asylum-seekers sought sanctuary in other settlements, but most closed their gates following a New Yuga attack by operatives hidden among refugees.

Eventually, an ai governing a Cislunar manufacturing facility, who is retrospectively thought to have been of the first toposophic, offered their services to Ray Butler in rooting out the New Yuga cells, and using memetic techniques far beyond those widely available was able to track down hundreds of New Yuga followers in the area. Orbital bombardments were conducted against their hidden settlements in the surrounding area, and those hidden among the Dinboche populace were captured and detained in orbit until deradicalisation was concluded.

Following this, civilian government was restored by the weary populace and some of the diaspora returning. The line between residents and refugee had eroded during the course of the attacks and lockdowns, and the population was now a mixture of the Old Dinbocheans with the Chinese and other refugees, almost entirely centred in the lava tubes, with a secondary population in the former Provinces of Bhaktapur and Banganga. Old Dinboche was governed by a near-AIocracy, with AI governance highly popular among the residents, while New Dinbocheans were those who had resented the lockdowns, and were more distrusting of AI government - they were ruled by an elected council.

Aside from the spread of Mandarin and Dinboche Lunar English to influence much of the area, another side-effect of the Dinboche Turmoil was a heightened level of anti-Vaishnava prejudice. Peaceful mainstream Vaishnavas of a number of denominations, and in particular those from the Dinboche warrens, often set up their own settlements in the lunar highlands to escape this, and over time become quite influential in lunar society.

Old and New Dinboche developed as stable economic backwaters of Luna, and with spreading paraterraformation eventually became subsumed into a larger urban sprawl across the region.
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Development Notes
Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
Initially published on 18 May 2016.