And so, the final battle ensued and you better believe there was a giant hole in the sky opening up. Zyler was taken aback by all of the boxing training Zoey acquired from her montage with Rocky, but Zyler was a master of quack-fu and had more pent-up angst than a Simple Plan album.

“Dog God and Rocky has trained you well. Impressive. Most impressive,” Zyler said as he blocked a stiff right that could have ended the Cold War. “But you see, young Zoey, my machine is complete, and all Hipster Gremlin must do is—”

“NO MORE MONOLOGUING,” Zoey shouted as she unleashed a barrage of quick punches to the mid-section. Zyler doubled over, a whoosh of air leaving his mid-section in the most dramatic manner possible.

“I have to agree,” said Hipster Gremlin as he huddled under his umbrella, fearful of the rain touching him and changing him into something else. “Monologuing is a total, like, waste of time, and it shouldn’t be—”

“Hey!” Zyler snapped. “Bug-eyes. You could help me!”

Zoey ducked just as Zyler tried to whip her with his pant-chains. They wooshed past her head, and from nowhere in particular, Linkin Park began to play.

“And now… I bring you the song of my people!” The emo sound of Linkin Park grew louder. Zoey wasn’t sure if she’d be able to make it out of this one.

From several feet away, Hipster Gremlin winced at the thought of going out in the rain. But his dear friend Zyler desperately needed his help. And the American people had to look out for one another. Hipster Gremlin was alarmed that the rain and this epic battle zone were fueling intrusive thoughts of anti-capitalism and universal healthcare, but he pushed these aside as he ran from underneath his umbrella and towards the giant machine.

“Urgh—I can’t turn this dreaded thing on!”

Zyler’s emo chains slashed through Zoey’s shoulder, tearing her arm clean off. It didn’t hurt because she was a zombie, and zombies didn’t feel pain. But if she allowed the gremlin to turn that machine on, she would feel all of the emotional pain that a 16-year-old emo kid could possibly imagine.

“I will not let you become some emo overlord!” Zoey shrieked as she picked up her severed arm. Zyler stepped back, but Zoey launched herself towards him, smacking him over the head with her severed arm over and over again.

“The.” Whack. “Nineties.” Whack. “Are.” Whack. “Dead!” The final blow of her arm knocked Zyler unconscious. Neither of them noticed that Hipster Gremlin had turned the machine on. And had begun to grow bigger.

“I did it!” he chirped. His voice was growing deeper, and his thoughts of socialism were growing stronger by the minute. The machine began to whir and shoot sparks in every direction. Zoey watched in numb horror.

Suddenly, an eruption of thunder made Zoey and Hipster Gremlin, who was beginning to look like an old senator of Vermont, turn to look up at the sky. Hipster Gremlin lost his umbrella as the wind picked up, now fully exposed to the epic downpour. Suddenly, Dog God emerged from the clouds in a red, single-flier airplane.

“HABA. BABAGADA. HA BA. DAGABADA.” The machine then promptly exploded.

“What does it mean?!” Zoey said, awestruck as pieces of the machine flew in every direction.

“It means I’ve reversed the polarity of the neutron flow and saved the day. You won’t become emo now,” shouted Dog God as he double backflipped off his airplane.

“Won’t become emo?!” Hipster Gremlin was now Bernie Sanders, senator of Vermont and avid democratic socialist. “This can only mean one thing… I can run for president to make sure this never happens! Free tuition and universal healthcare! Save the environment! 2016, here I come!”

In a burst of god-like thunder, Hipster-Gremlin-turned-Senator-Bernie-Sanders disappeared, leaving Zoey alone with Dog God on the rooftop.

“You are destined for great things, Zoey. I bless you with many dog treats and years of belly rubs.”

“But I’m not a dog,” Zoey protested. But Dog God was already gone.

Leaving Zyler unconscious on the rooftop, Zoey hopped on her motorcycle that had appeared for her out of thin air and pulled out her smartphone, ready to go chase more Pokémon that were bound to be waiting for her past the horizon. And as her epic flying motorcycle flew off into the sunset, Zoey vowed to be the protector of the world from cheesy emo ’90s kids for the rest of her days.

Samantha Walsh is a second-year student majoring in special education and English writing. She can be reached at SW850037@wcupa.edu.

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