Keisha, Dana, Jasmine, and Erin huddled together in a tight hug. Dense smoke covered what felt like the ground under their feet. Jasmine whimpered. Erin patted Jasmine on the back. A form flickered in front of them then Amy materialized.
"What the hell?" Dana released the other sisters and ran to Amy. She patted her all over. "This is some freaky crazy shit."
"Dana!" Keisha tsked her twin. "Watch your mouth."
"Why? Can't you see we dead and in hell. Do you see pearly gates and streets of gold? Either grandma lied or we about to get real hot." Dana cackled.
Erin pulled her arm away from Keisha and hugged Jasmine tighter. "Look at what you did. Stop, Dana."
"Grandma said to tell y'all something before I ...came here. Grandma said to tell you we were good girls and everyone will know that she also said our deaths wouldn't be in vain." Amy sighed. Tears sprang up in her eyes. "If not then why aren't we in heaven. Why are we here? It's sooo...why isn't it hot as hell if we're in hell?"
A large dark figure approached from behind Amy. Keisha snatched her youngest sister and pulled Dana out in front of the three young ones. She kicked her foot around on the unstable ground hoping to find something to pick up as a weapon. A rock. Stick. Boulder, a sliver of glass. Anything to use against the man approaching them.
"Your grandmother was right, Amy." A tall, regal man built like a pro wrestler with gentle eyes and massive hands smiled. "I'm ACHASHVEROSH, but everyone from Earth calls me Gideon."
"From Earth?" Keisha stopped kicking around from rocks.
"Yes, Keisha. From Earth. Your grandmother said you wouldn't die in vain and she was right. You have a great assignment. Come with me." Gideon took a step toward the girls.
Keisha, Amy, and Erin took a step forward.
Jasmine and Dana took a step back.
Keisha reached back and pulled Jasmine forward. "Dana, c'mon."
"I don't know this dude. You go." Dana crossed her arms.
"It isn't safe here, Dana. Your grandmother sent word to my boss to not let your death be in vain. My boss sent me here, to see which of you were ready and train you. Once your training here is complete, you'll become warriors. But we have to go, it isn't safe in this realm." Gideon turned around.
Dana joined them. "Why do you trust him?"
"He has gentle eyes," Erin replied. "Grandma said you can always trust people with gentle eyes. They protect fragile souls. Not like Big D. and his crew. They had evil in all their eyes, the ones who had anything in their eyes."
Steam shot up from the floor. Large onyx rocks scattered throughout the stretch of smoke.
"Is it always foggy here?" Jasmine said.
"No...Yes...technically it is because fog is made of cloud materials hovering on the earth." Gideon said.
"Did he just say we're walking on a cloud. Thought it would be fun to walk on clouds." Dana frowned.
"I believe that is sunshine you're thinking about, twin. Gotta feeling this is not gonna be that kinda thing." Keisha looked at the back of Gideon's head.
"We must be in trouble. This isn't heaven, and it isn't earth. Grandma said we don't believe in purgatory. Someone should tell her she was wrong." Erin said.
"This isn't purgatory. You're on your way to training. We need to make good on the promise to your grandma, and we need a secret weapon on the ground. My boss has decided your the perfect secret weapons for this battle of the war." Gideon came to a big shaft of dense cloud.
"We're going to be soldiers? I'm not old enough to be in the army. I don't wanna be in the army, navy, or marines." Dana crossed her arms.
"You're not going to be a soldier. First, you train to be mercenaries. Once you complete your training, you'll become warriors." Gideon kneeled down. He nodded toward Erin. "Amy, climb on my back. Dana and Keisha grab my right arm. Jasmine and Erin grab my left arm."
"Where are we going?" Amy said.
"To evaluation. We want to make sure you're ready before you begin your training assignment." Gideon pulled us into his massive chest. "Hold on."