A few days after the events of the previous chapter, Titus sees an ad claiming that they’ll receive free Coke for using the word “Coke” around their friends. He and his friends decide to repeat the word thousands of times, receiving a year’s supply in the process. While meeting up with Calista and Loga, Titus is surprised to see that they look burned and are wearing retro “Riot Gear” designed to look like “one of the big twentieth century riots.”
Not unlike Violet Durn, Titus and his friend think they can “game” the system by playing along with the feed’s rules and get an unlimited supply of Coke. However, they end up just playing into the feed’s promotional scheme. Also notice that riot gear has become hip, suggesting not only that people are ignorant about the history of violent riots in America, but that corporations have co-opted populist unrest across America by branding it and selling it as fashionable.
The friends, including Violet, proceed to have conversations about Coke, over and over again. After a while, Link suggests they buy Coke, since they’ve started to become thirsty. Violet asks Calista and Loga about their “Watts Riot” tops, and wonders what incited the Watts Riot. Calista doesn’t know, and then she and Loga make fun of Violet for using “long words that no one can understand.”
The friends wear riot gear, but they have no idea what happened at the Watts Riot (in which black and Latino people in Los Angeles rose up against police brutality). Calista seems proud of her own ignorance, both of history and vocabulary. Notice, also, that the gang’s “Coke plan” backfires, when it makes them want to buy Coke, suggesting that the feed has sophisticated ways of manipulating its users’ behavior.
Violet chats Titus and asks him to take her home—she can’t stand Calista and Loga. Titus reluctantly agrees, and he and Violet leave while Calista shows off her WTO Riot Windbreaker.
Violet was once attracted to Titus’s lifestyle, but now she’s becoming disillusioned with it, as she begins to see how depraved it really is.