Author's Note: Before you read this, I'm going to give a disclaimer. This story was written several years ago and over approximately five years time. It has undergone an extensive amount of editing, but obviously is in need of plenty more. They story itself I have abandoned because I have become a much better writer (with much better ideas) since, and feel that it is a work no longer displaying my best. That said, there are parts of this story that don't match up (swords names that are switched, a change of point of view for a couple chapters, and probably other issues as well). I have decided to post this story for the sheer amount of work that went into it. So, it is my hope that regardless of its shortcomings, you may find at least some joy in reading it.

Disclaimer: All characters and situations are fictional and original. Story authored by C. Mitchell.

Y-Alta Chapter 1: Ancient-Modern World

Long ago, in ancient Japan, there was a legend about an immortal woman who's skill with a blade was greater than most samurai, and whose stealth and speed were greater than any ninja's. But this legend is no mere myth. This legend actually took place. I know…because I am the woman of whom it speaks.

My name is Chisato Izawa. I'm 173cm tall or 5'8" with long black hair, blue eyes—my right eye is darker then my left—and dark tan skin. My favorite color is violet and I perfect my martial arts skill in my free time. While I appear to be in my mid-twenties, in reality, I am one-thousand, two-hundred twenty-five years old. I've seen the world change from the times of samurai and swords, to machine guns and air planes, then to high charge plasma rifles and space transports. Why? When I was eleven years old, just two years before my father started teaching me the way of the sword, he fought a witch named Amia. In the end she died from the wounds he had inflicted on her. But before she died, she put a curse on me to punish my father for what he had done to her.

In the end…the punishment turned out to be mine alone. Her curse was to make me live for eternity—through war, famine, epidemic, and everything else that might come along—remaining trapped in this greedy, cold, materialistic world. The only thing that could release me from this punishment is to die in the place of the man I love more than anyone else I love, have loved, or will love in this world. Only then would the curse be broken for good. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? But the catch is, if he's not my true love…then my soul will be bound to the physical world, bodiless, for eternity.

To keep time going by while I search for that someone that will lift my curse, I've joined various organizations throughout the years—groups that seemed to have worthy causes. I now work for a secret organization called GPA (Galactic Protection Agency). Thirty years ago, planetary systems were being taken over at an alarming rate by a vast alien master race known only as the CruesKais (Cruel Chaos beings), forcing free worlds into cruel and uncertain fates. However, where there is oppression, there is always resistance. GPA, which at the time was only known as the Interplanetary Resistance Network (IRN), was created when various people in different worlds started secretly communicating with each other. Some were caught, but many remained unfound. It was through these unfound individuals that races on planets rebelled against the CruesKais.

In an effort to restore control over the planetary systems, the CruesKais created the ultimate device and weapon to enslave or eliminate everyone on any planet's surface at any given time. This weapon became know as the Y-Alta. Two brave men from IRN got off the planet surface of Titan and destroyed the Y-Alta; although, how…no one to this day knows due to their disappearances after the weapon's destruction. Some say that they found a sympathetic being in the CruesKais race that had helped them. Others say that they ingeniously found a way to take down all security protocols on the surface of their planet, but whatever the real reason was, they had indeed done it. Or so...that was the theory…for over twenty-five years.

T

*Raid at Yikaton Crater – The second expedition held on the planet Toran to recover the remains of a second piece of the Y-Alta just over a year and half after the first expedition.

wo years ago, GPA led an expedition through the Almonian Mountains on Toran to try and scope out the radioactivity in the area that the master race left behind all those years ago. It was there that we discovered a piece of the Y-Alta. When we took it back to the lab, we received the disturbing news that this was only a very small piece from the complete weapon and that it was very much still active. Through research, we've found ways to disable the Y-Alta safely, and if time permits, any one of us within the agency can now deactivate the weapon. Now with tensions rising between our once peaceful planets, our fears that someone might find an active part of the Y-Alta and try to use it against another planetary system is quickly becoming a possible reality. While the results would not be as catastrophic as the entire Y-Alta itself, due to the lack of size and power, it would still deal a major blow to another system if used. It would be more than enough to wipe out an entire planetary settlement of two billion people or more.

This is where our story begins, on planet Rivion, a neutral planetary nation—at least, it is currently—in the year 432 of the Galactic Age (G.A.). Rivion in where the GPA base is located, although no one would know it because we are so secretive. The Galactic Government takes credit for everything that we do—even though we are not even remotely associated with them—but we still continue to protect all the planetary systems within our range. It is our duty to provide protection, even without recognition.

- Four months after the raid at Yikaton Crater -

A persistant beeping sound distrubed the still, dark night as I lay on my bed asleep. But it is often said that persistance makes someone yield to interruption. This occasion was no different. I groaned sleepily.

"Computer, reset alarm to snooze timer."

When the beeping did not cease, I opened my eyes frowning into the darkness, looking around the room. My com system was blinking angrily as if it knew I was trying to ignore it. I got out of bed, supressing a yawn and turned on the com unit, only to see the face of my superior officer looking back at me pleasantly. Now, I have nothing against Colonel Brigad, but when he smiles that way, it always means that he has work for me to do…and when it's three o'clock in the morning; you can only imagine the annoyance I felt at this fact.

"Good morning, Captain."

"Good morning, sir."

"I hope I haven't disturbed your sleep."

"No, sir," I knew full well that this was an outright lie, but to tell your superior that you didn't feel like talking to them because you were tired, it just wasn't going to make you look good. And as much as I hate politics in any job…secret agency or not, that's something you have to deal with.

"How may I be of assistance to you Colonel?"

"We've found another piece of the Y-Alta. I need you to be down here in two hours, ready to go. Can you do that, Captain?"

"Will do." I nodded, "Captain Izawa out."

Colonel Brigad nodded and his face disappeared. That was it. He gave an order and I obeyed. End of discussion. I groaned in annoyance and went right back to sleep, telling my computer to wake me up an hour later. But as it often goes…when you're dreading something…especially when you aren't allowed to get enough sleep, all too soon you are woken up to deal with the matters of the world. Getting up at last, I took a fifteen-minute shower, got dressed, ate quickly, and then left for headquarters in my starcraft—sort of like a car, only, it's used to get around in space. I put in the secret quardinates of where our base was located in my vehicle's starcharter map and started to heading for it. Twenty minutes later, the space dock doors of our base opened, welcoming my arrival.

As soon as my starcraft was secured, I made my way down the enormous gray landing pad to the doors that would open to the main building of our agency. Lights from other vehicles flashing and images of maintenance crews repairing damaged agency vehicles all made it into my line of sight as I walked by them. When I reached the door I put my security code into the keypad and waited for it to give me confirmation that the code was correct.

"Security Clearance Code Varified."

A clear handprint pad popped out of the panel next to the door along with a lense that was eyelevel. I placed my hand down on the pad and looked into the lense as a laser scanned my right eye and another laser scanned my right hand.

"Identity Varified. Entrance Cleared."

The door opened automatically in a diagonal fashion. Wasting no time, I stepped through the doorway into a large corridor, splitting to my left and right. I took the hall to the left. The walls were a light blue, lit with lower charge plasma lights. As I walked, my mind wandered. It was made perfectly clear that I had fallen into my own little world of thought when I didn't hear someone calling me as they approached.

"Chisa!"

I yanked myself away from my thoughts and looked around to see a young man coming towards me at a jog. It was Ridan, a good friend of mine. He was about twenty-seven years-old with calming brown eyes, hair that had been dyed dark blue, and a smile that never seemed absent from his youthful face. Today he was wearing a black, shortsleeve buttondown shirt and khaki pants, his security card attached to his beltloop. I couldn't help but smile at him, even as tired as I was, just because he was so much like a child in some ways.

"Hey, Ridan."

He finally caught up to me and bent over put his hands on his knees, catching his breath.

"You're deaf! I was…*gasp*…calling your name…*gasp*…for a good two minutes!"

I giggled at his remark.

"No, your voice just isn't very loud," I said teasingly. He tilted his face up towards me and gave me a nasty look.

"My voice is not weak like a little kid!"

His unexpected anger at my quip was making it difficult to suppress the small fits of giggles. He ignored this as we continued to walk down the corridoor together.

"So, how have you been?" I asked, turning to Ridan.

For some reason, it had always been this way between me and Ridan. Teasing each other, then changing the subject. Somehow, whenever the teasing stopped, we were no longer angry at each other anymore and therefore got down to what our friendship really meant to each of us. It had all begun about five years ago when Ridan was only three days away from turning twenty-two years of age—back when his hair was still its natural golden color. It was my second day in the agency after they had recruited me. Ridan's parents had been part of the agency before they were killed on a mission seven years ago, meaning that Ridan had grown up near the agency and knew his way around it like a map had been drawn in his brain. He could tell you exactly where all 4,574 rooms of the massive G.P.A. building were located, what they were, who was allowed in them, and how to get to each of them. It was not unlike my memorization of the hundreds of martial arts and sword moves that I had learn when I was still a child. The exact number, I don't think I will ever know.

The friendship between Ridan and me had come about when I was looking for the Main Operations Unit. He saw me standing in the middle of an intersection of the corridors that led away in four different directions, looking utterly lost that day as I tried desperately to remember the crewing officer's directions. Seeing my desperation he had walked up to me and asked if I needed any help:

"You look like you're lost," he said, smiling kindly at me.

I stared at him for a moment, so thankful that he appeared to be offering to help me that I couldn't find the single, simple word to answer the question he had asked. He chuckled at my inability to react to him at all.

"You must be new if that's your response. You're looking for the Main Operations Unit then, right?"

I stared at him again, this time because I was shocked and stunned that he had guessed where I needed to go.

"How did you—"

"Let's just say, you're not the first person who's come to this place and been completely overwhelmed by its size." He thrust out his hand towards me, "I'm sorry. My brain must have gone completely out the hatch and floated into space. Hi, I'm Ridan."

I slowly reached my hand out to grasp his, "I'm Chisato Izawa."

He raised his eyebrows almost immediately, "Izawa? Wow. I heard you were coming aboard, but I didn't believe you and I would actually meet. I'm just a computer techy. I heard that you were going to be replacing agent Major Hoz. Great guy, his death was something that everyone here took really hard, but I have no doubt that Colonel Joma chose a very capable person to replace him. Even Lieutenant-Colonel Brigad is excited."

I frowned, now very confused, "Why do you say that?"

He started walking down a corridor, so I followed, assuming that he was leading me in the direction I needed to go.

"You're a legendary martial arts master. Even in this day and age, a plasma riffle would be useless against you, even if all you had was a ancient cultural sword…like the ones used when Japan was very, very old. I mean, I'm talking, over a thousand years ago. At least, that's what they say."

I just smiled to myself when he brought up my culture.

"What? Did I say something funny?"

"No no, I was just thinking about my father. And really, someone's been feeding you lies…I promise you, I'm hardly as good as you're making me out to be."

"Oh. I see. I don't really mean to be rude or anything, but…I mean, I'm going to be turning twenty-two in a few days, so…"

"You want to ask how old I am?"

"Umm…kinda. Is that okay? I mean—"

I smiled wider.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you my real age…but for all purposes, I guess I can say I'm about twenty years old."

He frowned and stared at me, "About twenty? You're pretty young to have such a big reputation."

I knew full well that my age was a complete lie. But exactly how was I supposed to tell him that I was over a thousand years old? Besides the fact, women lie about their age all the time. So this is just another prime example of it, right? But anyway, that's how we met. It was a little strange, but as time wore on, somehow we became the best of friends. If you've ever had a friend that you would take a bullet for, Ridan was and remains that kind of friend to me…but then again, there was the curse to think about…

Someone suddenly snapped their fingers in front of my face and I turned my head to face Ridan. He frowned, letting his arm fall back to his side.

"You okay, Chisa? Looked like I kinda lost you for a minute there."

"Yeah, I was just thinking about how we met."

He shrugged, "Okay, whatever."

"So, what were you saying?"

"I was working on a new program last night on my computer. It's designed to help you find the materials that make up a Y-Alta. Would you like to have a look at it later?"

I couldn't help but smile at his enthusiasm. He loved inventing things computer related, but what he seemed to love more than that—at least, lately—was inventing things computer related that could help me out. Recently, I started feeling much more like a team with him than anyone I had ever been paired up with in all my one-thousand two-hundred twenty-five years (or at least what I could remember of them), "Sure, it would be my pleasure."

Like a child who had just learned that they were about to go to the carnival, he leapt giddily into the air. Then grabbing both my shoulders with his hands, he kissed me on the cheek.

"Thanks! You're the best, Chisa!"

With that he let go of me and ran for his "personal computer room," as he called it.

I noticed that he had once again left me with a wide smile as he always did. I stared after him for a moment before continuing walking down the corridor.

Ridan had once explained to me, "In the G.P.A. base, the number of staff is always exactly three-thousand people, and out of the 4,574 rooms that reside within the base, only 1,550 rooms are available to all personnel. Each person has their own private workroom. Each is equipped with a cot and bathroom. Out of those 4,574 rooms, three-thousand are completely private. One room is given to each person upon arrival at the agency. The last twenty-four rooms in the building are used for private meetings and such."

I've been in seven of the twenty-four rooms since I've been here, but quite honestly, they look all the same to me—white-walled rooms with blue-tiled flooring. Each of them is centered around a meeting table of some sort.

The door to the main tactics area (known more commonly among the people in the agency as, "the chamber of dread," or as the superior officers referred it, "the mission room") opened as I approached it. Stepping inside, I saw Colonel Brigad—a muscularly built man with silver hair, seeming to be around his mid-sixties—bending over a young man who was obviously a location technician. I recognized the young man almost immediately due to the fact that, like me, the Colonel seemed to have taken a liking to him. I had come to this conclusion by the fact that, since he had arrived last week, the young man seemed to never leave the Colonel's sight. He was a very quiet man, around his mid-twenties as well. He was built tall and thin, and looked like he might be of Japanese decent as well, though with all the racial mixing, it's hard to tell. Colonel Brigad was looking down at the technician's computer panel.

"Now, using the coordinates from the last search, look for traces of the other material," said Colonel Brigad.

"Understood, sir," said the young technician. "Scanning for hidden metals."

There was silence for a moment as the technician scanned the area that Colonel Brigad had indicated.

"Sythious Ravium located at coordinates, sir."

"Nice work, Chief," said Colonel Brigad patting him on the shoulder in praise.

"Thank you, sir."

"That should be more than good enough to help her locate the Y-Alta. Speaking of which, where is that girl? She should be here by now…"

He turned around, seeing me standing next to the door, watching calmly.

"You wouldn't be talking about me, now, would you?" I smiled at my commanding officer as I watched the scene before me.

"Captain! How in the world do you always do that? I swear, you appear right out of thin air."

The young technician turned his chair around to look at the reason the Colonel had suddenly gotten so excited. I smiled and gave a light nod of my head to the young man; almost amused by the way he was staring at me. I returned my gaze to the Colonel.

"You wanted to see me, sir?" I asked, walking towards them.

"Yes, Captain. We've located a rather large piece of the Y-Alta on the surface of Lackradem."

"Lackradem? But, sir… Isn't that located in the waste belt?"

"That's correct, Captain. That's exactly why it's an ideal place to hide something like a piece of the Y-Alta. No one would think to look for it there. It can easily be disguised and moved without much of anyone noticing. But, it's actually on Lackradem, which means that it would be harder to leave the planet's surface with the Y-Alta than if it were just left drifting around in space. If it were drifting…we would have a much larger problem. If the waste belt suddenly were to shift and the piece of the Y-Alta didn't adjust as well, it could do one of two things. Either it would hit something that has a reactive quality and would blow up all the waste around the waste belt into a giant ring of plasma, causing a small super nova and obliterating Lackradem as well as a few small systems nearby. Or, it could fall out of orbit into the planets atmosphere and kill a few billion people on Lackradem. That's why, I'm still more thankful that whoever has it, was smart enough to set it on the planet's surface before something like that could occur."

"So, how do you wish for me to handle it?" I asked him very plainly.

"The same way you always do. With care. You'll be taking First Lieutenant Ridan Wood. And since this talented young man beside me, Technical Chief Yang Sou, found this piece of the Y-Alta, he will also be coming with you."

"Sir? You want me to bring a technician on a high-class security mission?"

"Are you questioning my authority, Captain?"

I stared at him wordlessly, thrown into a complete sense of shock at his harsh words towards me.

"N-No, Sir. I was merely suggesting—" I stopped in mid-sentence, suddenly realizing that I was just making the situation worse. "No, sir," I repeated firmly.

"Good. Believe me, you will need his help. Report to the space docking pad in two hours fully packed, refreshed, and ready to go. You will then await your team."

"Understood," It was at moments like these, when he was barking orders, that I felt like I was anything but myself. At these times I often felt like a servant obeying commands from her master. It was one of the very few things in life that would drive me to the point of wanting to throw my resignation in his face and go home, never to return. But this was the agency. To some extent it was just like a private military base.

"Dismissed."

I gave a stiff nod of my head to symbolize courtesy, and then left the room. When the door closed behind me I glared back at it, mocking him childishly for a moment, then moving on to my private chamber. After I left, their conversation continued.

"Sir? I realize it's probably not my business…" said Technical Chief Yang, "but if I am allowed to say so…I don't believe that you gave her the respect that she was due."

"What are you saying, Mr. Sou?"

"Not to be rude or out of place, Colonel…but she is a lady. I think you treated her…a little harshly."

The Colonel smiled, "You're a good man. She's also a very good person…a fine woman and a very dedicated agent. But know this. Even a good woman like her needs to be put in her place every now and then. If you don't do that once in a while…she'll walk all over you."

I was only halfway to the equipment supply room when I remembered that I promised I would look at the new program that Ridan had made for me. With that, I turned right around and headed back down the hall towards Ridan's private chamber.