Team Galactic has just stolen the Adamant Orb from a transport plane headed to Celestic Town, and their next target could be the Lustrous Orb stored in the town's research center. The research center is where Ash and his friends are headed, but they're just there to meet Champion Cynthia. She's back in town and meeting with her grandmother Carolina, the head of the research center. Cyrus, a well-known businessman with an interest in history, also joins the group to help protect the Lustrous Orb. But when he finds out that Ash and Dawn might have seen the Pokémon known as Lake Guardians, he has Carolina bring them to the Orb itself, which is under guard by a disguised Team Rocket!
According to Cyrus, the Lustrous Orb is connected to the dawn of time, but Dawn and Ash don't feel anything special when they look at it. Team Galactic chooses this moment to launch their attack, drawing out the security forces with a nearby explosion. They've also taken over the research center's security system, so Officer Jenny and our heroes try to escort the Lustrous Orb to a safer place. As they do, Brock's Croagunk runs away—it senses Commander Saturn's Croagunk and wants to fight.
Commander Saturn himself blocks our heroes' way, but Cynthia calls out her Garchomp to battle Team Galactic's forces and buy the others time to get away. Too late! Another Galactic minion, Commander Mars, surrounds our heroes. Ash and Dawn won't let them take the Lustrous Orb without a fight, but things aren't looking good. Toxicroak and Croagunk come crashing into the room, and Toxicroak knocks Croagunk out with one hit. Faced with Saturn's deadly Toxicroak and the combined forces of Team Galactic, Ash and Dawn might have no choice but to surrender the Orb!