As our heroes get closer to Sunyshore City and Ash’s next Gym Battle, they come across a rather large town. After checking in at the Pokémon Center, suddenly Pikachu and Piplup start to act very strange. They grab onto each other with great affection and won’t let go! They seem stuck to each other like magnets, and when Ash and Dawn try to pull them apart, they don’t stay apart for long.
Meanwhile, a Pokémon research scientist named Professor Kodama, with the assistance of Team Rocket, is working on a machine that is supposed to make Pokémon friendlier to each other—similar to using the move Attract. Professor Kodama’s beloved Quagsire and Magnemite appear not to like each other at all, which is the inspiration for the professor’s work. But unbeknownst to him, his machine is working very well on all the other Water-type and Electric-type Pokémon in the area, putting all of them in the same situation as Pikachu and Piplup!
Meanwhile, Team Rocket decides to steal Professor Kodama’s machine. Brock slowly starts to figure out what may be happening, and Nurse Joy reveals to our heroes that she knows the professor’s Pokémon are not getting along. Team Rocket carries out the plan to steal the machine, and take Pikachu and Piplup (still tightly stuck together) for good measure. They attempt to take off in their balloon. But after a struggle with the professor, the machine comes crashing down. The Attract effect immediately stops, freeing all the previously stuck Pokémon—and Team Rocket is sent blasting off again!
Deciding that Professor Kodama’s next project is to figure out precisely why his machine didn’t work on his own Water-type and Electric-type Pokémon, our heroes take their leave and head off once again toward Sunyshore City.