Wonder Wheels Rolls On (Hanna-Barbera fan-fiction)

Discussion in 'The Story Board' started by hobbyfan, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
    #1 hobbyfan, Jun 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  2. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 1:

    2 years passed, and Larson Bentley had left the country and returned at least three different times, all under assumed names. He even had plastic surgery done to alter his appearance, aware that federal authorities were still looking for him after all this time.

    Bentley had settled down in Wichita Falls, Texas, and now passed himself off as a used car salesman named Bert Bridger. It didn't seem to matter to the people of Wichita Falls that the real Bert Bridger had disappeared under strange circumstances two years earlier, and the dealership had closed in his absence.

    Certain that Bridger's sudden reappearance was tied to Bentley, National Investigator editor Norm Scott sent Dooley to Wichita Falls to investigate.

    "The only thing I have to warn you about", he said, "is to not get personally involved. I know you believe Bentley was responsible for your friend's death, but the last thing we need is a vigilante."

    "I understand, Norm.", Dooley replied. "I'll be careful."

    Once she reached the parking lot, Dooley got on her bike, and left the office. Returning home, there was one last piece of business to attend to.

    "I may have promised Norm I'd stay out of trouble, but that doesn't apply to Wonder Wheels.", Dooley thought to herself.

    Minutes later, Wonder Wheels roared out of the underground parking lot in Dooley's building. Dooley now was garbed in the same yellow and red jumpsuit, but hers had a fireproof face mask added to conceal her true identity, something Willie never thought of.

    It took the super bike and its masked pilot just an hour at super speed to reach Wichita Falls. Before checking into a hotel, Dooley deactivated Wonder Wheels, which made her new costume disappear. She checked into the local Super 8, and took a room on the 2nd floor. The next morning, she began asking people about Bridger, and got a variety of stories. When she showed those same people pictures of Bentley, there were few, if any, responses.

    It wasn't until just before dusk, as she was returning to the hotel, before Dooley finally had a tangible lead. A homeless man looked at the pictures, and said he could tell the two had become one.

    "Bert disappeared 2 years ago, 'round Halloween.", he said. "Then, this here feller (pointing to the picture of Bentley), with the same build suddenly turns up in town, claiming to be ol' Bert. Different eye color, though."

    A few minutes later, Dooley called the office with her findings. She planned on a cordial meeting, in her words, with Bridger the next day.

    Around 3 pm the next day, Dooley, pretending to be a prospective customer, met with Bridger, who regaled her with a tall tale to explain his two year absence.

    "Ah got called away 'round Halloween of '80.", he said. "Helping my brother in the mission field, you know."

    "As in, a missionary?", Dooley asked.

    "Yes, ma'am. What was supposed to be a 3-4 week trip to South Africa turned into a 2 year nightmare. The UN finally sent someone to bring me home."

    Dooley thanked Bridger, and soon left. She found the local library, and did some cross-checking on her findings. It turned out that Bert Bridger did leave on a missionary trip with his brother, Rev. Brian Bridger, but not to South Africa. Instead, they went into the Congo, and never returned. A quick call to Norm Scott confirmed this.

    "It was big news when they found the bodies about six months ago.", he said. "Can you trace Bentley's steps over that same period?"

    "I think I can.", Dooley replied.

    Two more days spent at the library produced another lead. A South African missionary was arriving in town to speak at a local church. Dooley went to the service on a Sunday morning. Jamal Van der Van told the congregation that the man now calling himself Bert Bridger was, in fact, an imposter.

    "I can confirm what I saw with my own eyes.", he said. "Brian & Bert Bridger had been killed in the Congo two days after leaving my church for their expedition. Three of my workers were also killed. The False Bridger was one of the killers."

    After service, Dooley took Van der Van aside, and showed him the photos.

    "Yes, I remember him.", he said, referring to Bentley. "He'd tricked his way into joining the Bridger party, but he was also smuggling diamonds out of my country. Once the Bridgers were killed, he hid until it was time, and then he took over Bert Bridger's identity and left with the diamonds."

    "Thank you.", Dooley replied. "The federal authorities would be most interested."
    ==============================
    In the conclusion, will Dooley get her man?
     
  3. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 2:

    Perhaps it wasn't a shock that Rev. Van der Van's body was found in a dumpster near the church three days later. Larson Bentley was getting desperate. He knew about the reporter snooping around, asking questions about Bert Bridger and had made the connection between him & Bridger. Now, Dooley Lawrence would be the next to go.

    Dooley, meanwhile, had met with Federal authorities with her findings on Bridger/Bentley. She realized that Bentley was on to her as much as she was on to him, and figured he'd try to take her out first. She met with Rev. Peter Folsom, whose church had hosted Van der Van.

    "Bert used to be one of our biggest contributors.", he said. "Then, he vanishes for two years, and resurfaces as a completely different man. Brother Jamal had told me what had happened to Bert and this imposter that took his place. I'll do whatever I can to help."

    "You've already done just enough.", Dooley replied. "Thanks."

    Later that night, Bentley tailed Dooley from the hotel to a community center three miles from the church, but lost her in traffic. The center was closed for the night, and Bentley must've figured Dooley noticed, and continued on her way. He thought wrong.

    "How do you lose a woman on a scooter in little or no traffic?", he wondered. Hearing a noise, Bentley turned around in time to see Wonder Wheels, without a pilot, racing toward him.

    "Whaaaaaaa! You're supposed to be dead!!", Bentley cried.

    "I....never.....died.", the bike said, through an electronic voice installed in it. "Unlike.....Bert.....Bridger."

    Bentley ran through the alley, looking back at the onrushing motorcycle. Dooley, now garbed as the masked Pilot, waited at the end of the alley, put down her prey with a palm strike. Wonder Wheels stopped, and a set of manacles issued from beneath the headlights.

    "Wh-who are you?", Bentley asked.

    "Better that you didn't know.", came the reply. Dooley carried a voice modulator in her pocket that made her sound almost exactly like Willie, chilling Bentley to the bone.
    ================================
    The next day, Larson Bentley was being sent back to Federal prison in Leavenworth, while Dooley returned home. Norm took a look at her finished story, which left out any reference that might link her to Wonder Wheels.

    "Terrific job, Dooley.", he said. "This will be the lead in our next issue."

    "Thanks, Norm."

    "Seems Wonder Wheels has returned, but with a new pilot, one that wears a mask, unlike its predecessor. Know anything about it?"

    "Nope. Can't say that I do."

    As Dooley left the office and boarded her scooter, she reflected back on the fact that she had avenged Willie's death. She drove to the cemetery and placed fresh flowers on Willie's grave.

    "It's over now, Willie. Bentley's back in jail, and now your spirit can rest in peace once and for all."

    The end.
     

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