From the ship, Ash, Iris, and Cilan see what looks like a giant Pokémon through the fog! No one else seems to have seen it, so they decide to ask around at their next stop, Grand Spectrala Island. A shopkeeper tells them about a rumor of such a sighting on a small island nearby, and they immediately run off to investigate before he can tell them the rumor is from ten years ago.
As they explore the small island, our heroes are threatened by a giant Heatmor! It also frightens several wild Pokémon, including a Foongus that attacks Axew while trying to get away, putting it into a deep sleep! Pikachu attempts to fight back, but none of its attacks seem to do anything. Then, a mysterious person runs out of the forest to stand between our heroes and the giant Heatmor—and then both of them disappear! Cilan thinks they’re dealing with illusions, but they have bigger problems on their hands: Axew still won’t wake up, and they need to find a Pokémon Center.
They discover an old, run-down Pokémon Center hidden deep in the forest, and its lobby is full of wild Pokémon awaiting treatment! Iris calls for help, and an Audino appears and then runs off to fetch Nurse Joy…who returns without Audino. Ash is a little confused by this, because Nurse Joy and Audino always work together. In another sign that this Pokémon Center is a little unusual, Nurse Joy makes some medicine for Axew by grinding several berries together with a mortar and pestle. But the low-tech approach is effective, and Axew wakes up full of energy!
Then the mysterious person appears again and introduces herself—she’s an older Nurse Joy who now investigates Pokémon Centers. She says this particular center, where she used to work, is supposed to be closed because there aren’t any Trainers on the island. Then, she accuses the younger Nurse Joy of being an impostor!
The younger Nurse Joy seems to shimmer, and our heroes see something strange: a vision of Investigator Nurse Joy from ten years ago, bringing an injured Zorua into the Pokémon Center. She tells our heroes that she released Zorua into the forest after treating it, but it would often return to help her out around the center. The two became good friends, but eventually the center was shut down, and Nurse Joy had to leave.
Soon all becomes clear: the Nurse Joy who treated Axew, and her Audino helper, are both Zoroark in disguise! Zoroark—who evolved from the Zorua that Nurse Joy rescued—has been running the Pokémon Center by itself to help out all the wild Pokémon who live on the island. Nurse Joy is touched by this and offers to stay so she and Zoroark can take care of the island Pokémon together. And after a very thorough housecleaning courtesy of our heroes, the Pokémon Center looks as good as new, and our heroes are off to their next adventure!