Disclaimer: Atomic Betty and other characters involved are copyrighted to Breakthrough Animation Studio.
Note: This story is based on what little knowledge of the series I had back when the show was aired in the United States, so there are possible chances of inaccuracy. Also, Betty/Sparky pairing involved; those who don't like that pairing, I suggest you don't read this.
I loved my job as a co-pilot for this ship—at least, back when it worked. Three years ago, the Squadron agreed to scrap it due to "technical difficulties": the brakes wouldn't work when we wanted them to, the laser cannons short-circuited after long hours of shooting, and the steering system rusted to the point where we couldn't turn it even if we wanted it to. Despite those issues and many more, I still cherished the memories of cruising through the stars. It became a second home to me.
And then there's X-5, who became not only my partner, but my best friend and companion. Even more jaded than ten years ago, he had to be fixed and recharged more frequently than my second, newer robot partner, X0-7. X0-7 had the same amount of knowledge as X-5, but his information was more up-to-date and didn't come out in a dull monotone; thanks to him, I learned to repair space cruisers, weapons, and other machinery. But advantages aside, X-5 will always be my number-one robot.
But one thing I still miss from being on a squadron: Betty. Pilot, leader, Galactic Guardian. She was only two years younger than me, but she had brains, strength, agility, and was always focused on her goal. Just about every trait about her I adored, from her shiny red hair to her snow-white boots. I only had one problem with her: she already had a boyfriend.
My last message from her was about a year ago, when she still attended college and hoped for a major in medical science. She mentioned me about her date, a brown-haired young man named Noah, and about how they thought about getting engaged. When I heard that word—"engaged"—my heart shattered into millions of tiny pieces. As a Galactic Guardian, retrieving frequent calls to be summoned to a base in Outer Space, she hung out with me far more than him, and yet… she still cared for him. Even when I told myself to expect such changes, to not cry if she said, "I love…" to another person, my vision blurred from the tears that formed.
Once a happy, enthusiastic young boy, I never thought I'd grow up, but after seeing those words spread on a portable holographic screen and hearing them indirectly from the sender's mouth, I say I not only matured… I changed.
"Hey, Master Sparky," X0-7, age seven in character and seventeen in voice, greeted me as I entered the station. "How's it going?" No answer. "By the by, someone came to visit, but after I told her you weren't present, she told me to tell you that… and she needed to talk to you—"
"Tell her I'll be too busy for casual meeting," I answered sternly and walked down the long, red carpet hallways through the metallic sliding doors.
Inside were three giant computer screens with control panels underneath, scientists typing on the thousands of keys and buttons as they control surveillance and weaponry, and a tall rotating chair, nailed to its spot in the center of the room, and with a red cushion seat. Once I set myself upon my so-called "throne", I shouted orders to the scientists on the left and right: "Man the battle stations! I want those cannons aimed at the enemy planet."
The middle scientist, in charge of surveillance, tried to interject. "But sir, isn't that where—"
"I don't care who or what lives there! I want the enemy destroyed at all costs." I stood and stepped out, giving the reins to X-5, whom I trust not to let emotions overrule our objective.
Near the entrance, I asked the sleek model robot where my "guest" was currently located. Bewildered, the robot stared at the floor. "Her? She's in Conference Room A-2." But when he looked up again, he must've noticed right away about my not being there.
At the said conference room, I saw, sitting at the chair on the far end of the long table, a beautiful young lady with shoulder-length orange-red hair, large green eyes, and wearing a white futuristic-style dress with matching gloves and boots. "Hey there, Sparky," the woman greeted in a formal-like manner, despite the words said. Too shocked to reply, I simply sat down on the nearest chair, just across from her, though too far for friendly conversation. As she skimmed through every detail on my face, she continued talking. "I heard you were promoted to captain of an entire squadron. Congratulations!"
God, her smile! She donned bright red lipstick—something I almost never saw the girl I knew wear—but she made it appear natural, nonetheless. And her teeth, while not perfectly white like the usual model, had a sparkle to them that I noticed even at the far distance between us.
I shook my head. Get a hold of yourself! Look professional, at least. I sat more upright and replied my thanks for the compliment.
She continued. "I'm proud of your new role, but I must ask for a negotiation—a truce perhaps? There's not much reason why you'd attack my home planet, of all places… is there?" Nothing. "Listen to me. This invasion is ridiculous; nothing good will come out of it if you do this." Still no reply, but yet she persisted. "If it involves me, I understand. And since we were friends for so long, I decided to give you a little something." She ducked down briefly and stood back up, gift-wrapped box in her delicate hands. It didn't look large, but I figured it was a good idea to accept it, anyhow.
On my feet, I stepped over to take the present before she walked out. "I hope you like it," the redhead said, her former confidence fading. "And whatever decision you make, I'll stand by it without objection." Then she whispered her good-bye and pecked a kiss on my cheek before leaving.
Back at the control room, I dismissed X-5 and, as he left, set myself back on the chair, facing away from the others present in the room. I unraveled the scarlet ribbon and opened the lid of the small box; my eyes became watery—just like on that day from a year ago—but for an entirely different reason. Inside was a rather old plush bear, its mussed-up fur the same green color as my skin and its only remaining eye the same snow white as my two; around its wrist, a diamond ring of real gold.
I chuckled at the measly little gifts, at how heartwarming they were… until I saw what laid at the bottom. A card, obviously homemade, with its hand-drawn heart designs and clean-cut scallop edges. Curious about the design, I flipped it open and read the hand-written cursive writing inside:
"Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
This poem's cliché;
How 'bout you?"
You wouldn't blow up the planet Earth on Valentines Day, would you? I hope you liked the present, Captain.
P.S.: For your information, Noah broke up with me. He thought we're better off as friends. Because of it, I thought it would be a good idea to give the engagement ring I wanted to give him to you. Take good care of it!
The end of my lip curled up to a smirk. That's her, all right; quirky, as always. But aware of the reality, I put the card and teddy bear into the box, slipped on the ring, and turned to my underlings. "Men… minutes ago, I talked to the enemy leader, and… We decided to call a truce. Hide the cannons and reset the navigation coordinates; we're going home."
If the message in that card wasn't cheesy, I don't know what is! XP Anyways, I hope you enjoyed that little "quick drabble" of a short story. As I mentioned before, this has Betty/Sparky moments, so non-fans of the pairing who had read through this: You read at your own risk.
Constructive criticism is accepted, praises are encouraged, and flames will be thrown into the fire.