You may have noticed that I changed the summary. That was just not the way I wanted it to go. Anyway, here's the latest installment of "Somewhat the Beginning".

"You know that Hal, Matt, & your Dad really missed you." I said casually.

"Yea, I know." He said, working on two transmitter parts.

"I know it's only been few days since you've been back, but are you happy?"

"I am."

I hesitated. "What was it like, being a slave to them? The Skitters, I mean." I asked.

He paused for a second, " I don't really remember much after he harness was put on me, but I do recall some fragments. They looked after us, they seemed to know everything we wanted before we even knew. They didn't treat us like slaves at all actually, they treated us"

I was absoloutely shocked by that. None of the other kids felt like they felt the Skitters treated them like family, I thought, matter of fact, they could barely remember anything at all. Why does Ben remember?

"What happened while I was gone?" He asked.

"Well, Matt got a ripstick for his birthday, and the other kids had a blast playing on that. We have these new fighters, Maggie, who I'm sure you've already met, and Pope and his 'Berzerkers'."

"Berzerkers?" He laughed.

I smiled at his laugh, "Yea, they picked out their name."

"So Maggie is one of them?"

"Well she was with them before they joined us; and they joined not by choice I should say. She wanted to help us and I don't think she wants anything to do with them anymore. She actually took Karen's place as Hal's fighting partner."

"Karen? Who's she?"

"She was one of the fighters trying to get you, but then the plan went wrong and she was captured. At least, that's what Hal told me. He was really sad about it." I sighed. I hated seeing Hal in that much pain, I was glad Maggie got Karen off his mind.

Ben looked hesitant, "You and Hal were pretty close before I...left, weren't you?"

"Um, yea we were."

"You two were best friends and he always talked about you. You two still close?"

"Yea we are, but not as close as before."


"I don't know. I guess we're just growing apart." I was still rummaging through the boxes of electronic parts. I picked up a piece and walked over to Ben, "Hey isn't this the part Uncle Scott was looking for?"

Ben took it, "Yea, I think it is!" he said excitedly, "He's been looking for this part for days!"

Just as he said that Uncle Scott came in the room, "Hello my two favorite helpers." He looked at the peice in Ben's hands, "Is that?"

"Yes it's the missing piece of the transmitter." Ben pointed to me, "Ashley found it."

Uncle Scott took the piece and put it into place. "Ben, will you please crank the handle?"

Ben took the handle and started to turn it. There was a dim light as the ancient machine turned on. Uncle Scott took the knob and started scanning through the channels, "Listen for any strange noise, like static."

Then there was a short burst of static and Uncle Scott slowly turned the dial back, and the static continued again. "It must be close." Uncle scott said.

"What is it?" I asked.

"I'm not sure" He answered. I looked over to Ben, excitedly, and he fell on the floor, cringing and holding on to his ears.

"Are you ok?" I asked. The transmitter lost power and the static stopped, and so did Ben's pain.

We were all silent, stunned at what had just happened.