We continued walking through the forest and I explained to JoHanna what it meant to be a part of my team.
"I haven't decided yet whether or not I will be taking on the gym challenge or travelling around or what, but you should at least know that I do battle. It is...unavoidable. I hope you are okay with that."
"Of course," the small bug-type said. "If I do not battle, I can never become a Butterfree. That is something for which all Caterpies strive and something I hope you can help me accomplish."
"Then we should get started on training you," I said.
We stumbled upon more bugs and some trainers who had caught their supply of them while travelling through the forest. JoHanna got some very good training in, as did Ashley. After a handful of battles (and being close to the end of the forest), JoHanna had battled enough to begin her metamorphosis. She began to glow white as her body expanded into a crescent shape. She grew a small bit and, after the glow was gone, was a darker shade of green. She had become a Metapod.
"Yay," she said. "I am one step closer to being a Butterfree!"
"And useful," Al said.
"Hey," Ashley said, "don't knock down the other pokémon. They are unique and useful in their own way."
"It's okay," JoHanna said. "I know that being able to harden and tackle are not the most useful things, but I'll get more awesome when I evolve."
"Though you are pretty awesome already," I said.
We continued through the forest, fighting more battles, and quickly got to the end. We left the forest after battling one last bug catcher and were outside of Pewter City. As we entered the city, we took a bit to look around. The pokémon center stuck out as a good location, as did the pokémart. There was also a museum in the back of the city and some small houses.
After healing and doing minimal shopping (and getting a potion for a whiny Charmander), we walked around the city. There was someone blocking the east exit, which was the only way out of the city other than going back into the forest. Upon talking to him, he said I had to beat Brock before I could leave. He then proceeded to show me where Brock was.
I walked into the gym and saw him standing at the end. There was a trainer before him and another guy standing near the entrance.
"Hey there champ-in-the-making."
"Hey...um...random guy," Ben said.
"And just who are you?" Ashley gave him a quizzical look.
"I am a champ-trainer. Simple as that."
"Okay..." I said. "Then...how can you help me be the champ?"
"I can give generic advice."
"That we could have already ascertained easily?"
"Joy. So what have you got for us this time?"
He smiled. "Brock uses rock-type pokémon and his lackey here uses ground types. It would be wise to not use your fliers here. Or that Charmander, either."
"Hey, why is that?"
"Because you are not very effective. And they will be super effective."
"But I'll still be super-powerful."
"No," I said. "No. You will not."
"I will," JoHanna said, "once I evolve. I can use very harmful attacks."
"And you will go down twice as fast," said the trainer.
"Indeed," I said. I looked to Ashley. "Don't tell me you want to fight too..."
"Not in the slightest," she responded. "I'm the smart one, remember?"
"Okay," the trainer said, "but evolving that Metapod might still be a good idea. It could be helpful if it is fast enough."
"That's a good idea," I said, "but I think I'll stick to using my deranged monkey."
Al popped out of her pokéball. "Yeah! Finally, I get to fight something good!"
"Not yet," JoHanna said. "I get to evolve first."
"Aww...I always have to wait."
I went up to the first trainer, who told me I was light-years away from Brock.
JoHanna came out. "You know that light years is actually distance, right?"
The opponent sent out a Sandshrew. "Does it matter?"
"Why of course," she said, tacklyng the Sandshrew as it tried to curl up and roll away. "Your trainer must learn to speak properly why bantering. Otherwise, he lessens his general effect."
"Really," the Sandshrew asked, letting up it's guard.
"No, not really," JoHanna said, hitting it with a critical. The Sandshrew fainted and she started to glow again. Her body became ovular as she grew a bulbous head. She sprouted wings and, when the glow died down, she was a nice purple color to complement the white wings and new pink eyes. She had become a Butterfree.
"Yay! I evolved."
"And you beat the trainer," I said, "which means we can challenge Brock!"
"Finally," Al said. "You have no idea how long I have been waiting to get my hands on some tough opponents. I mean..."
"But first," I said, cutting her off, "a heal break."
"Oh come on!"