Riven was a seventeen year-old kid. He had that Berlin-punker look that had been lost sometime in the 1980’s then re-discovered decades later by a new-wave of punk and rebellion. He was all decked out in leather, denim and flannel with studded shoulder-pads and three-inch spikes gelled into his bright pink hair. The term Misfit might have fit him, were he not usually surrounded by a crowd of similarly-clad punkers like him. Like them, his face was a perpetual sneer, accented by gauged ears and piercings any where they’d fit along his face. It was said he had more metal in him than an android.
It had become commonplace in the last couple years for the more counter-cultured youth to trend toward Riven’s lifestyle. In itself, it was the pinnacle of excess; an extension of the peaks of great rock-icons and their most offensive acts. But where Townsend trashed hotel rooms, and thirty-years later, their cultural offspring like Cobain smashed guitars and live-sets, Riven and the others took things to their logical, next step. Riots were common wherever the neo-punkers gathered, usually dispersed only after days of wild amphetamine and booze-filled destruction.
It was admirable, in a way. The kids like Riven had been threatening to “fight the man” and “bring chaos to the system,” since roughly time began. That was the way with teenaged rebellion, a sort of cataclysmic byproduct of the child-ego learning it wasn’t special, and its dreams more than likely weren’t coming true. Where most would have sunken deeper into hormone-fueled angst though, Riven and the others like him did something astonishing; they suppressed it into a ball, formed a core of outrage against the wrongs in the world. Most importantly, they unleashed it at the people they felt were most responsible for it; cops, governments, men and women on Wall-Street in suits.
The targets of their rage were often society’s elite, the upper echelon of what humanity had to offer even if it seemed lame in comparison to its aggressors. Those elite though, were cowards. They were too concerned with profit-margins, power-trips, and corporate bottom-lines or banging their secretaries and bosses to fight the aggression first-hand. They were weak, fawns to the proverbial wolf-pack that Riven represented. Such is the nature of the strong, the truly powerful, to prey upon the weak.
“Tearing Down the Wall” was a movement arranged by the few, level-headed anarchists inside the neo-punks. A reference to the literal end of the Cold War, a conflict fought for the minds and hearts of the two-greatest super-powers’ citizens with words and clandestine actions rather than all-out war. It seemed apt to the metaphorically minded. With little more than word of mouth to spread the date and time, a few thousand punkers– Riven included– managed to form a new-age Woodstock in the center of wall-street in New-York.
For a while, things were peaceful. The NYPD couldn’t help but shut down the trading buildings, cordon off the area, and let the mayhem inside carry on in its drug-fueled, screeching distortion, and sex-crazed way. Wall-Street became freak capital USA in mere hours. People from all around the world showed up over the course of a week to party, fuck, and fight. NYC’s mayor, too afraid of a riot to risk dispersing the crowds, gave orders for the police to hold their lines and not break ranks. They were smart enough to hold to his orders, for a while at least.
The various news stations played vids and on-site reports of the chaos along “The Wall” night and day. The twenty-four coverage drove their ratings through the roof. Advertisers scrambled to pay higher fees to have their commercials show-cased at the peak ratings hours. The media corps made out like bandits, and the advertising agencies nearly bankrupted more than a few, major companies whose marketing budgets rampaged out of control.
Then the unthinkable happened– or rather, the statistically-obvious happened.
There was something to be said of the new Woodstock and how, despite the untold numbers of drugs and genitals used, the anarchists managed to contain themselves as long as they did. In retrospect though, everyone on both sides knew it couldn’t last forever. The stock markets had already taken a nose-dive, and more than a few people had lost more money than they could stand to live with. Most ate the ends of pistols or full pill-bottles before the week was out.
It was the night of the sixth day since they’d begun to tear down the wall. Riven and a few pals were doped up, boozed-out, and smoking near a line of riot-gear clad cops. In as few words as possible, one of those cops was a hot chick who’d more them more than a look or too. Anarchy is that way for some, especially the ones embedded in the system. It’s like a drug, even more-so than the drugs themselves. It was a dangerous and rampant, youthful energy that most neo-punkers embodied. It made them appear as immortals, each a high-lander ready to die by the sword for the cause. More than a few men and women outside joined their ranks for even small tastes of the power they exuded.
That cop joined too, broke ranks when Riven and his pals pulled and coaxed her out to the chaos. Either from fear or jealousy, one of the other riot cops didn’t like it. Cue the melee as the hot-chick’s colleagues rushed Riven and the others with batons and shields. It didn’t take more than a minute, literally, for the crowd along The Wall to surge, break its melange of insanity, and join in the brutality.
Tear-Gas was launched, but most were so drugged it didn’t matter. Nothing could stop the madness that had brewed, waited for just this type of even to explain. Before the end of the night, Wall Street was a bath of blood, fire, and rage. There were never any official numbers released, but it was well-known that hundreds on both sides were dead. It was even more well known that somehow the National Guard had been called out to contain the situation. Thousands of drug-crazed, insanely-righteous and pissed off people were given a literal keg of explosives in the form of a National Guard convoy.
Like most, Riven made it out of The Wall a few days later, more broken and bruised than before. The intervening time and its effects though, made it all the more worth it. No-one’s quite sure how, though their always prepared to point fingers elsewhere, but The Wall was torn apart. Literally. The anarchists had managed to secure a load of non-lethal explosives from the Guard convoy entrenched on the outskirts with guns at the ready. Combined with some convenience store products, and good, old-fashioned know-how, they constructed real, lethal bombs.
At roughly five AM on the seventh day, a half-block of Wall-Street was collectively leveled from detonated, home-made explosives. There hadn’t been such carnage seen in NYC since the Towers fell decades earlier. The hundreds dead and wounded from the destruction joined the victims of the brawl with the riot-cops and the Guard. Before the end of the day, The Wall was unrecognizable. Not a single building escaped unscathed. And just as they had arrived, most of the punkers– bleeding or not–filed back to the woodwork and disappeared.
Among them were Riven with his hot-chick cop, and couple buddies, bruised and bloodied from the brawl, but alive– the damage wasn’t anything more booze or drugs couldn’t handle.
In the end, the US market crashed, the Global economy tanked, and most if not all everyone felt it. In the midst of the chaos that ensued, those sophisticated, Elitist humans became more animal than anything. Meanwhile, spurred by the Punkers ways, the rest have took to their own kinds of anarchy, where a curiously-peaceful, almost Utopian coexistence has arose.
Funny to think all it took was tearing down the Wall.