Ash and co. are still trekking to Olivine City by walking across a medow. They notice an sprange pattern in the grass, it is an X with a circle around it. They speculate on what it might be. A ball suddenly drops from the sky, and lands inside the circle, scaring them. An airballoon gracefully flys into view, it is being pulled by a fearow. A boy jumps out. The boy was responsible for dropping the ball from the sky. The boys name was Skyler, he tells the gang that the ball was infact a marker that he uses for target practise, he was practicing for a ballooning competition. They found out that Skyler wants to be a professional balloning pilot. They walk to Skylers house, and are introduces to his father, they learn that his father designs hot air balloons that look like pokemon. They find out that Skylers father has a Pikachu balloon in his garage, he agrees to let them use it for the ballooning competition. The aim of the competition is to be the first team to get to the target, and to throw a marker as close as possible to the center of the X. You have to do this from a height of at least 1000 ft within the given time limit. They learn that they get to use their Pokémon to pull them. While the gang and Skyler and his dad are practising in the sky, Team Rocket watch them. Meowth descoveres a poster explaining the ballooning competition, first prize is a new balloon engine! (During the night Jessie and James are seen with hammers, implying that they damaged the other competaters balloons) The next day is the day of the race. Ash and co. see the Meowth balloon, and learn that Team Rocket are also in the competition. The race starts, but something seems wrong, alot of the balloons seem to have holes in them, and they are seen crashing to the ground. Ash learns that it was Team Rocket that sabotaged the race. Meowth doesn't seem like he want to cheat, but Jessie and James know nothing different. James calles out Weezing, Weezing uses somke screan, more balloons drop out of the sky at this point. Meowth moans at Jessie and James as he wanted them to win the race fairly, without cheating. Jessie now calles out Arbock, Arbock uses poision sting, and knocks one more balloon out of the sky, Skyler and Ash manage to dodge the attack. (At this point, only Ash, Skyler and Team Rocket are left in the competition.) Meowth scratches Jessie and James, he tells them that he wants to win without cheating. Jessie and James tie Meowth the the center of the basket, so they can continue cheating.The balloons drift into a storm cloud, Team Rocket unveil their newest contraption, rockets attatched to the bottom of their balloon! They turn them on, aly steam through the storm. Ash and skyler are flying through the storm, Skylers balloon seems undamaged, but Ash's burner seems broken, it goes out and they begin to loose altitude. Ash calles out Cyndaquil to replace the burner, Cyndaquil uses flamethrower to heat up the balloon. It works, and they shoot up into the sky. Team rocket drift out the other side of the storm, and are very happy when they dont see any other balloons. A few secconds later, Ash and Skylers balloons shoot out from the top of the storm, team rocket are very unhappy. They launch a volly of rockets into Ash's balloon, nocking Cyndaquil from his possition on the top of the burner. Ash quickly jumps, and saves Cyndaquil. A rocket explodes near Ash, hurting him and throwing him to the other side of the balloon. Pikachu gets mad and wants to fight, however Team Rocket use their jet engine to flee away. Ash tells Noctowl to let go of the rope, and to allow Pikachu to ride on his back.