In the outskirts of Pallet Town, a young stranger riding on a Doduo calls to some local children. Sketching a picture, the stranger asks if anyone has seen a certain Pikachu.
In Professor Oak's Laboratory, Professor Oak puts Pika in the restoration machine, and then he and Misty mull the situation. With the challenger's name listed as Bruno, the Professor concludes that Bruno must have defeated Red, but it doesn't account for why Pika returned with severe injuries, and without Red to boot. Declaring a situation, Professor Oak asks Misty to contact the other Gym Leaders for assistance while he calls for help from everyone he knows, when suddenly stranger on the Doduo enters. To Oak's surprise, not only does the child know that Pika is there, but Pika seems to know the stranger as well.
As the stranger appears to leave with Pika, the Professor chases after him and questions him, becoming infuriated as the child refuses to answer, instead insisting that he will free Red from the unknown enemy holding him captive. Angered, Oak releases his Spearow and has it use Fury Attack, declaring that he would only entrust Red's survival to the child with proof of his skill, by ending this battle.
Responding with his Doduo, the stranger orders a Whirlwind that Spearow counters with Mirror Move, forcing the match into an apparent stalemate. Noting the stranger's inability to break through, the Professor admonishes the boy for his overconfidence, declaring him incapable of rescuing Red. At this, the child has Doduo dash around Spearow, and amidst the spinning of the Whirlwind Spearow loses its balance, plummeting towards the ground to be caught safely by Pika at the boy's command. Surprised, Professor Oak yells that making Spearow dizzy didn't count, but the stranger smilingly reminds him that there were no other conditions aside from him ending the battle, and tells Oak to be thankful no one got hurt. Indeed, Oak notices that the boy had battled with so much control neither Pokémon was even hurt slightly in the encounter, and Professor Oak decides to ask the stranger to follow him.
At Red's house, the Professor is miffed to note that Red, in his usual arrogance, had left his Pokédex behind. Oak informs the boy that while he doesn't like the way he refused all earlier queries or the way he rudely barged in, the fact remains that he shares an understanding with Pika. Declaring that as Pika chooses to trust him, he will too. Then Professor Oaks gives the boy Red's Pokédex, entrusting it and Pika under his care.
As the stranger leaves with Pika, the Professor is left with one niggling thought: did Pika heal when the young boy touched it or was it all imagination?