Preamble: Wonder Wheels, a component of the 1977 Skatebirds anthology series, turns 40 this year. Here's a story idea that I've had bouncing around for a while, revamping the series for a new generation.... All characters are copyright Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros., except for ones created for this story. ======================================== Prologue: Setting: Spring 1980, 2 1/2 years after the series ended. Dooley Lawrence was now a freelance journalist, having lost her magazine job due to budget cuts. Those same cuts cost her boyfriend, Willie Wheeler, his job as a photographer for the same publication. Now, Willie didn't have enough money to buy a new bike to replace the dilapidated scooter he'd been using. Oh, but if only Dooley knew why Willie kept that scooter around......! Dooley had caught wind of a bank robbery in progress, and had left to see if she could get an angle on the story. She took her own camera, since Willie had gone shopping. Meanwhile, Willie had heard about the robbery on a police band radio at the local market, and left before he could even fill out his shopping list. He wheeled his scooter into a nearby alley, and said to himself, "This looks like a job for Won-won-won-won-won-Wonder Wheels!" No sooner had the words left Willie's lips than the scooter disappeared, replaced by an incredible, high-tech motorcyle. Willie's rainment changed, too, as he now sported a yellow & red jumpsuit & helmet. As he adjusted his goggles, he gave Wonder Wheels the location of the bank, and off they went. Within minutes, Wonder Wheels had reached the scene, and intercepted the robbers as they tried to escape. One of the thieves opened fire, and a bullet caught Willie right in the chest, knocking him off Wonder Wheels. The police, however, caught the robbers, and Dooley took pictures. She then noticed a strange glow around Wonder Wheels. As Willie faded into unconsciousness, the magic bike disappeared, replaced with the scooter. "Oh, my God!", Dooley thought. "Willie's been piloting Wonder Wheels all along!!" ====================================== Willie was rushed to the hospital, and doctors were able to pull the bullet out without damaging his heart. However, there were complications, and two days later, Willie passed away. Dooley spent that night crying herself to sleep. Of all the times she had berated Willie, she never knew why he kept the scooter, which now was in her possession, as she had promised Willie on his death bed that she'd keep it for him. They had been living together for about a year, and, as Dooley soon discovered, Willie had saved enough money to buy an engagement ring for her. "Oh, Willie, if only you could've confided in me.", she sobbed. ======================================= Dooley was able to sell the story and the pictures to the local newspaper, which hired her as an investigative reporter. Two months later, her next big assignment would also begin a new phase in her life. Having effected repairs on the scooter herself, after discovering the secret of Wonder Wheels, Dooley used the scooter on assignments. It happened that two of the bank robbers had broken out of jail, and were looking to make another score. Their pictures appeared on television, and Dooley recognized one of them, Larson Bentley, as the man who had shot Willie. "You might be better off if you stayed in jail, Bentley, once Wonder Wheels catches up to you.", she thought to herself. End prologue.