The next morning I'm awoken by someone entering the Center really loudly – and it has to be loud if I'm able to hear them entering while I'm in my own bed. Oh, by the way, something I didn't know: apparently, rooms in this Pokémon Center actually do cost money to stay in since this is a privately owned area-island-facility-thing. But that doesn't really affect me, since I've barely used any of the money that I've earned while here; I think the last time – and the second time, first being with Red in Kanto, but he paid for that – was with Gold in the Goldenrod Department store.

Anyways, back on topic. I slowly get out of bed and get changed, then exit my room and check to see who's making all the noise.

And lo and behold, it's Emerald. At least he woke me up in time for his battle at the Battle Pike.

"So, what're you doing?" I ask him, Emerald shifting his attention away from the computer and towards me.

"Just getting some Pokémon."

"For the Battle Pike?" He nods.

"You aren't going to ask where I'm getting them from?" I already know, but I don't want to scare him by letting him know. Although, it wouldn't really be scaring, since I could just say that I know Crystal. Meh, might as well; he's gonna have to learn that I'm freakishly good at assuming and guessing things sooner or later, since he's one of the people I'm going to be hanging out with for a while after this. Maybe. Not really sure... I know Gold and Silver, as well as Red and Green and Blue, and Ruby and Sapphire, I'm going to be hanging out with afterwards. Maybe Crystal. It all depends on if she's too busy with work or not to hang out with us.

"Hello?" Emerald snaps me out of it, and I answer his question.

"I already know Crystal, so I don't really have to ask where you're getting the Pokémon from."

"You know Crystal?" He asks, confused.

"I helped her, Gold, and Silver fight Team Rocket." I answer.

"So you're that gay guy who's in love with Red?" I'm so tempted to pick him up and throw him out, just like Brandon did, at this point. But, instead, I simply nod.

He nods back and asks no further questions.

"So, who're you taking out for the Battle Pike?" I ask once he finishes the transfer.

"It's a surprise!" He takes the three pokéballs and runs out of the Pokémon Center again, forcing me to run to catch up with him.

When we make it to the Battle Pike, the crowd's already gathered, as has Todd, and we all enter the Pike together.

"I'm ready!" Emerald shouts as we enter.

"That was quicker than I thought... What level category, then?" Lucy responds.

"Sixty!"

"Well, step right in." Lucy says after stepping aside. "Choose one of these three doors!"

"I choose... this one!" Emerald says after pointing at the middle door. Lucy leads us up some steps and onto a platform that's above the room that Emerald's battling in. Basically, we just follow the path through whichever door he chooses. Good idea, especially if they don't want anyone interfering. But, then again, if they didn't want anyone interfering, then why allow people up here in the first place?

"A double battle against two virtual trainers." Lucy announces after we're all in. The first virtual trainer sends out a Kirlia and the second sends out a Dusclops.

"The Battle Pike tests the trainer's 'Luck.' The first room that Emerald chose has triggered a battle against other trainers." Lucy explains, and I think to myself: I would never be able to complete this facility with my luck.

"Watch out, Emerald!" Todd shouts from right beside me, "That move inflicts a negative status effect!" So that's what that highly annoying high-pitched sound was. Screech is incredibly annoying if stacked. But, Kirlia was just demonstrating its attack, since Emerald hasn't quite sent out either of his Pokémon yet.

But, now he does, the two being Rapidash and Starmie.

Kirlia begins the actual battle by using Hypnosis on Starmie, and Dusclops follows up with an Ice Beam. Both attacks cause their status ailments to take effect, putting Starmie to sleep and freezing Rapidash.

Like I said yesterday: how does that work? Rapidash's body is covered in fire, so how can it be frozen?

"Flame Wheel!" Rapidash melts the ice and is unfrozen, while Starmie somehow eats the Lum Berry it was holding while asleep. Logic, everyone.

"Double-edge and Thunder!" Rapidash and Starmie use respectively – which still amazes me, Starmie, a Water-type, using an Electric attack and all – and both Pokémon OHKO their targets.

"Okay, who's next?" Best not be too eager, Emerald. You still have... however many more battles left to go.

"Choose your next door, and you'll see."

"Okay! Eeny, meeny, miney... mo!" And he rushes through the door on the right.

Which leads to another virtual trainer. If I remember correctly, certain rooms contain items, certain rooms contain single Pokémon battles – not trainers – and certain rooms are healing rooms. Which means, if he has no luck and doesn't run into a single healing room, he's screwed.

But... apparently, his luck isn't as bad as I thought, because that's not a virtual trainer at all; it's a real person, because he sure feels real bumping into me.

"That guy passed straight through without doing anything?" Emerald asks. "He didn't even say anything related to Pokémon battles! You mean there're rooms like that too?"

"That's the test of luck. The different tests the challenger will face are: Double Battles, Single Battles, Conversations, Healing, Battles against Pokémon with negative status effects, Wild Pokémon Battles, et cetera. In extreme cases, if one manages to advance by choosing only Healing and Conversation rooms, they'd be able to reach me without a scratch. But on the other hand, if the challenger keeps choosing rooms with battles, he'd be all worn out before he reaches me." Lucy begins to explain while we continue through the rooms.

"What?! But how is someone supposed to clear all 140 rooms with all those rules?"

"Of course it's possible! If you're lucky, that is."

"Luck? You're saying that a person's abilities as a trainer or his battle skills don't matter at all?!"

"Perhaps you ought to judge that for yourself by watching the way your friend battles?" Lucy points towards Emerald, who's now walked into a Wild Pokémon room.

And he runs right past it, into the next room.

We promptly follow suit.

"What was that?" Todd asks as we enter the next room.

"It was a Wild Pokémon room, wasn't it? Since it's wild, as long as I'm faster than it, I should be able to run from the battle, right?"

"Exactly." I agree. "It takes skill and luck to complete the Pike. The better you can battle and the more you know about your Pokémon and the Pokémon you're facing, then the more battles you can go without having to heal due to you knowing how to fight the battle while taking the least amount of hits possible."

We continue following Emerald through the rooms until he makes it to the end of the third set. I'm still not entirely sure how these "sets" work, but oh well. Once he's finished with one he's given a chance to take a short break, so we decide to talk to him during said short break.

"You're luck's gonna run out eventually." Todd says.

"Why?"

"Eventually you're going to run into a streak of rooms that are battle after battle after battle and not be able to recover your Pokémon's HP and at that point, you'll be knocked out and have to start all over again!"

"It all depends on how he fights as well; a good enough trainer can win a battle without getting hit a single time. If Emerald's able to do that, then he won't have to worry about healing his Pokémon due to them having full health all the time." I say.

With that, Emerald continues through his next set, and fifth, and sixth, and continues on until he eventually makes it to the final room – which we know is the final room because we're walking above him.

"Emerald, this is the 139th room! The next room's the battle against Lucy!" Todd informs him.

"Looks like I'm here before I expected! Well, I'm gonna finish this with a victory!" You'd better, Emerald.

We walk into the next room that holds Lucy and her Seviper, waiting to battle, Emerald sends out Blissey as his first Pokémon, and begins the battle.

"Seismic Toss!" Blissey picks up Seviper and slams it back into the ground and knocks it out in one hit, but at the last second before Seviper faints, it lets loose some venom from its fangs, the venom finding its way to Blissey and being absorbed into its skin.

"Emerald, why aren't you curing Blissey?" Todd asks as Lucy returns her Seviper in turn for her Shuckle.

"You didn't give it any berries to hold, did you?" Lucy asks.

"Yeah... or rather, I don't have any berries left!" Makes sense, since he did have to go through 139 rooms before this, and it's been... however long it's been since he started this facility.

"But who cares about that! All I have to do is defeat you before Blissey runs out of HP!" Blissey runs up to the Shuckle and begins pounding on it, but the Pokémon retreats into its shell and takes no damage.

"Well, looks like it's time for me to switch too!" That tactic works, too. Emerald returns Blissey and sends out Starmie instead, going for a type-advantage this time.

"Water Gun!" Starmie jumps into the air to gain some altitude and then blasts a Water Gun down on Shuckle, but the Pokémon retreats into its shell again to defend itself.

"Fine! Surf!" Starmie attacks with Surf this time, causing enough water to be leaked out of it – more water than is possible to be contained within a Starmie, might I add – and the water makes it way inside of Shuckle's shell. Starmie then slams itself into the Shuckle, knocking it unconscious. But, that's not all, obviously.

"Starmie's been poisoned, too!" Well, as much as you can tell physically, that is. Starmie seems to be weaker than it was when it was first sent out, but that could be because of it using a lot of energy in its attacks, and not necessarily from being poisoned. But, it's probably poison, knowing Lucy.

"So, you've managed to defeat Shuckle, but Starmie's still in a poisoned state. You can't cure it, even if you wanted to, and you've already used all of your Lum Berries before the fight. If you only had one more Lum or Pecha Berry, that could've made all the difference. Although, if you switch out Starmie, its Natural Cure ability would heal the poison. Your Blissey has a similar ability as well and has already cured itself, right? Will you keep fighting with Starmie, or let it cure itself first?"

Well, Emerald has Blissey or Rapidash he can use if he decides to return Starmie, but he has no idea what Lucy's third Pokémon is. So...

He decides to stick with Starmie, even though it's still badly poisoned.

"I'm gonna stick with Starmie!"

"Stubborn, aren't you?" Lucy sends out her third Pokémon, Milotic, and Emerald begins with a Psychic.

"Mirror Coat!" The Psychic is reflected back towards Starmie at twice the power and almost knocks it out in a single attack.

"Oh, look, the poor dear's almost knocked out! Finish it, Milotic!"

"Thunderbolt!" Emerald's not having any of that, Lucy. Again, no idea how a Starmie can learn Thunderbolt, even with using a TM, but apparently it can somehow.

"So... even though Starmie's a Water-type, you knew you had taught it Thunderbolt, so you were saving it for the final attack." Lucy says as she readies her last conscious Pokémon. Emerald only has Rapidash and Blissey at this point, Blissey already being some-what damaged from the poison it took while it was outside of the pokéball, so which will he choose now?

He chooses Rapidash.

"Charge it!" Rapidash begins rushing towards Seviper, but as soon as it close Lucy has Seviper poison it by launching its tail towards the horse, thus poisoning his third and final Pokémon.

"Keep going!" Rapidash continues charging towards Seviper, making it slowly back up inch by inch, until eventually it's cornered.

"Giga Drain!" Seviper sinks its fangs into Rapidash this time, and instead of poisoning it, it sucks the HP right from it and knocks it out, causing Emerald to return his Pokémon and send out his last remaining Pokémon, Blissey.

"Crunch!" Seviper rushes towards Blissey this time, but Emerald has Blissey dodge the attack at the last second, then pick up Seviper and use Seismic Toss like it did originally.

"Slam!" Seviper slams its tail into Blissey, thus knocking it back a few feet and knocking it unconscious. This time, unlike almost – or every – single time before this, I'm able to see what's happening while it happens instead of having to be explained what happened afterwards. Emerald quickly returns Blissey and sends out Rapidash – who's amazingly still conscious and not knocked out yet – while everyone else is congratulating Lucy on her win.

"Wait... something's not right..." And that's when Rapidash rushes from behind Seviper and uses Overheat, finishing it off.

"But... how?!" Even Lucy's amazed and confused by this, but not for long since she soon begins to explain it herself.

"So... Heal Bell and Soft-Boiled?" Lucy asks no-one in particular. "Heal Bell is a skill that cures all status ailments of the party and Soft-Boiled is a skill that gives a part of Blissey's health to other members of the team... while you were making it look like Blissey was attacking, you were actually making it heal Rapidash?" And attack, because it did use Seismic Toss.

Emerald's does a thumbs up.

"I had found it strange that you had taught your Blissey only one attack, Seismic Toss. That's because you had intended for it to be the healer of your team. But, the fact that I was unable to realize this over the course of the 140 rooms you completed shows just how lucky you are." Yeah; I rarely saw him use Blissey, and when he did he only used Seismic Toss. Well, it's also somewhat strategy; he used all of his berries so he wouldn't have to use Heal Bell, and he used all of his Oran and other HP-healing berries so he wouldn't have to use Soft-Boiled. That way Lucy didn't know that Blissey had either of the skills so he'd be able to surprise her in the final battle.

"It's proof that you have what it takes to draw 'Luck' to you." Lucy steps down from her platform and walks over towards Emerald's, then hands him the Luck Symbol.

"The Golden Symbol of Luck proves that you have conquered the Battle Pike with your 'Good Fortune.'"

"Thanks! But I don't need it." And it appears that Todd's now about to strangle him.

"Don't do that! Put it in your pass, okay?!" He practically screams.

"Yeah. If you don't take it, then you won't have proof that you completed the Battle Pike, and your seven-day challenge will end in a failure." I add.

So he puts it in its correct spot in his pass.

"You there!" Emerald shouts, turning around and pointing his extendable arm towards the window – and Brandon, who's standing there with Greta. "I'm in the mood now, so I'll go to your facility for tomorrow's challenge!"

"That's Brandon to you!"

"I'll be taking on the Battle Pyramid tomorrow! See ya!" Emerald says, completing ignoring Brandon's comment. He turns around and begins to walk out the way we just went.

"You don't have to go back that way. There's a door that leads directly outside, you know." Lucy speaks.

"That's okay! I could use a little walk to cool down!" And knowing him, that's not the reason at all.

Todd and I both follow Emerald out, then Todd begins to ask him why he chose to take the long way out.

"Is there any particular reason why you want to go back?"

"Oops, can't fool you. Well, the truth is I just wanted to talk to this girl here." Oh, yeah. Looks like I was right; Latias can change into a human maid. Pretty sure Latios can't, or at least doesn't want to, for obvious reasons.

"How did it go?" Latias asks.

"I won!" Emerald says as he takes out his pass.

"That's great! Now, during your journey through the Pike, did you come across any other wild Pokémon that seemed suspicious, like the Sceptile?" She asks.

"Yeah! In room 18, room 56, room 62, and room 134. If we leave them here, they might go berserk again because of one thing or another!" I must've not been paying attention in those rooms, because I don't remember any Pokémon that acted strange. Or maybe it's because I can't tell the difference because they're all wild Pokémon?

"Let's go back and tame them all!" Emerald says while taking out the gun-thing from earlier.

"What are you guys talking about?" Todd asks.

"Meet Latias, I guess." I say as she flickers and reveals her true self for a second, then stops and remains as a solid maid.

"That Pokémon's able to transform into a human?!" Todd says unbelievably.

"Not exactly." Latias explains." This human form is merely an image I'm making you see through the refraction of the light. I did this so I could help Rald out in secret!"

"There's someone's voice in my head!" Todd freaks out due to him being able to hear her now as well.

"Oh, that's just Latias speaking to you via telepathy!" Emerald explains.

"I think that you are trustworthy. Also, you may be of some help to us. That's why I've decided to transmit my thoughts to you."

"What are you doing that's so important you had to do all this, Emerald?"

"Well, just wait and see!" We continue walking through the few more rooms until Emerald stops in front of room 134.

"Let's see..." We walk in and come face-to-face with a Dusclops. "This guy was probably born in... Mt. Pyre!" He takes out his gun-thing from earlier and puts in some new soil, then shoots it at the Pokémon.

"Mt. Pyre? He could tell where the Pokémon was born?" Todd asks.

"Yes. Rald has gone to many different places and has come into contact with many different kinds of Pokémon. As a result, he has developed the ability to recognize a Pokémon's birthplace just by looking at it!" Handy ability if you're a researcher. Probably why Crystal is working with him.

"The ammunition he's shooting out right now is soil from that Pokémon's birthplace."

"It's the same thing that happened to the Sudowoodo and Sceptile!" Todd points out.

"The Dusclops was all ready to fight, but now it's calmed down completely." That's what happens when Emerald uses that stuff.

"This soil's from Mt. Pyre?" Todd asks, taking a look at the gun that Emerald's holding.

"Yep!"

"That soil is attached to a special type of string, which creates an area that surrounds the Pokémon entirely. The scent of the soil of its hometown makes even the angriest Pokémon come back to its senses by soothing its heart! Rald calls that a 'Formation.'"

By this time Emerald's finished catching the Dusclops and is now running off to the next room with a "suspicious Pokémon." Hopefully Lucy won't mind us taking them... they are "Wild" Pokémon, after all.

By the time we're finished, Emerald has caught a Dusclops, a Milotic, a Chimecho, and a Kirlia.

"Hey, Emerald." Todd speaks up as we exit the Pike. "I know how you manage to calm down Pokémon in an instant, but you haven't told me everything yet."

"Us." I correct.

"Why were there suspicious Pokémon lurking in the Battle Factory and the Pike? You said 'someone' planted them there, but who exactly is that someone? Tell me who's the mastermind behind everything!" Emerald completely ignores his question and walks around, looking for a place to sleep instead of just going to the Pokémon Center, which would be the logical thing to do.

"What's his motive? Why are you fighting against him? Who even sent you here in the first place? And why are those two Pokémon, Latios and Latias, helping you?" Todd continues to ask.

"Well, since I've found a place to sleep, I'll tell you!" Well, I'm sure not sleeping here.

"About your first question-" Before he can answer, he's cut off by being grabbed by someone from behind.

"What're you doing?!" Emerald shouts while hanging in mid-air. "Let me go!"

"Is the criminal attacking already?!" Todd, you're an idiot.

"Who're you calling a criminal?" I told you.

"Brandon! And... members of the press?" That confuses me as well.

"You're always showing up at night! What do you want? The challenge doesn't start until tomorrow, doesn't it?" Emerald continues to shout.

"I couldn't wait." He gives a short laugh. "That was a joke. I'm here to give you a piece of advice. Lights up!" And up the lights go, illuminating the entire Battle Pyramid which I had no idea it was this close to the Pike.

"Impressive, isn't it? This is my Battle Pyramid that tests one's Bravery!"

"So what?" Just give him a minute to explain, Emerald.

"How long did it take you to complete the Battle Factory and Battle Pike?"

"Hm... I took about... fifteen hours for the Factory, and... nine hours for the Pike, I think." Which really gets me. I used to not be able to sit in school for six and a half hours for four different classes, yet I was able to train for approximately fourteen hours waiting for Emerald, and I was able to walk around the Battle Pike for nine hours at once, with no breaks, no problem. I guess that says something about either education, or teenagers.

Speaking of which... I'd technically be 21 at this point.

Wow.

It appears that I haven't aged mentally what-so-ever, probably due to me hanging around people my physical age and due to the fact that I haven't really had any responsibilities that I would've had if I had remained on Earth, such as – the biggest one – College, as well as everything else.

I phase back into the conversation to see that it's finished and Brandon's now throwing Emerald into the Battle Pyramid for some reason.

"So... what happened?" I ask Todd.

"You mean you didn't see?"

"Nope."

"Well... Brandon says that the Battle Pyramid is a maze of darkness that rearranges itself every once in a while, so Emerald will probably take more than twenty-four hours to complete it, so if he wants to complete all seven facilities within a week, he'd better start now. He can only have three Pokémon on hand, and his bag and everything has to be left with the receptionist. He can switch out the three Pokémon at the beginning of each floor, and the Pyramid has a total of seven floors."

"So... we're not going to be seeing Emerald for at least an entire twenty-four hours?" Todd nods.

"Well, we're gonna be walking with him to the entrance of the Pyramid, once he gets out." And out pops Emerald at the mention of his name.

"So, Brandon threw you in and you got out?"

"Yeah! Let's go!" Emerald starts running towards the entrance of the Pyramid – he likes to run in those platform shoes – and we follow behind.

"Are you sure about this? It's gonna take you at least twenty-four hours!"

"I'm gonna have to do it eventually. Oh, yeah! Which Pokémon to bring..." After we get to the entrance of the Pyramid, he uses the computer outside to call over – probably Crystal – to get three new Pokémon. Once he's finished, he shows us the three:

Shedinja, Phanpy, and Alakazam.

"Is that your team for the first set?" Brandon asks.

"Yeah!"

"Well... since I'm such a nice guy, I'll let you see which kinds of Pokémon I'll be using." Brandon takes out three pokéballs from his pocket, then releases them all to give me some nostalgia – even though it wasn't that long ago.

Registeel, Regirock, and Regice.

"Well... this will be interesting." I say to myself. "So, you're all set, Emerald?"

Emerald's already gone into the Pyramid and has already started the facility.

"In that case, might as well get some sleep." I say while sending out Dragonair.

"You mean you're just gonna leave?" Todd asks.

"Brandon said it'd take over twenty-four hours; I'm not gonna wait an entire day here doing nothing. So, I might as well get some sleep, then maybe get in some training tomorrow. I'll be in the area just in case he makes it out early, so there's nothing to worry about!" Dragonair takes off and leaves Todd standing there. I really hope he doesn't actually stay there for the entire twenty-four hours...


Author's Notes:

Not much to say right now other than just to say that yes, I do read all reviews that I receive, even if I don't respond to them. I read them, and usually they help me to not make the mistake in the future, but it all depends on how long it's been since I read the review and when I make the mistake again; if it's been a long enough time, then I forget and make the same mistake again, but I always try to remember and not do it. So, I'll say again: Read and Review, please.