STAN LEE’S WORK FORCE CHAPTER 8: THE NEED FOR SPEED

Bolt is just finishing up with Dorothy’s work station when she arrives back at her desk. He’s smacking his electric dagger on her printer, which responds by sparking and spitting out paper. “Hey! You’re still alive! That’s great!” the energetic kid jokes and gives her a fist bump. “And you’re just in time too because -” WHOOSH! A pink streak whizzes by Bolt and Dorothy, taking with it a hurricane of loose papers.

 

“Oh goodness! What in the heck is that now!?” Dorothy yells to Bolt over the gushing wind.

 

The pink streak zig zags all over the office, disrupting everything in its path.

 

“That would be Zip! She’s POW!’s resident accountant! And super speedster!” Bolt replies.

 

“Okay! What is she doing exactly!?” Dorothy yells.

 

“Zip is fast! Like really fast! The only problem is… she’s not so great at stopping!”

 

“What!?” Dorothy shouts shocked.

 

“Once she hits her threshold speed… she can’t pump the breaks!” Bolt explains.

 

Dorothy shakes her head overwhelmed and takes off running through the office once again. “Come on! We’ve got to stop her!” she pleads with Bolt.

 

“Wait! It’s no biggie! She usually just tires herself out and….” Bolt begins to say, before he realizes that Dorothy is already out of earshot.

 

Dorothy races through the office like an Olympic track star. She leaps over desks, rolls over copy machines, and reaches out for Zip as she blazes by, but comes up short. Zip continues to crisscross out of control through the office.

 

“Think! Think!” Dorothy says to herself out loud. “What am I going to do!?” Then something about Zip’s path catches her eye. She watches the pink blur wind its way around the office like a supersonic version of Pac Man. “There’s a pattern!” she realizes.

 

As fast as her feet can carry her, Dorothy books it over to the far side of the office. She stops a few feet in front of the big glass windows that overlook the city. Dorothy braces herself. The rocketing pink bullet careens through the workplace and heads straight for her! Dorothy’s face turns to stone with determination, ready for the collision.

 

KABOOM! Zip crashes into Dorothy head on. The impact pushes Dorothy backward, sliding across the office floor and ripping up the carpet. They skid back toward the windows, stopping just short of hurtling through the glass and out into the sky.

 

The dust settles, and Dorothy looks down to see a young woman dressed in a pink body suit cradled in her arms. The woman looks up, gradually gathering what has transpired.

 

“Hey…HEY! YOU STOPPED ME!” Zip cries to Dorothy.

 

“Oh goodness! I’m sorry, yes, I did. What happened was a major distraction to the workplace, therefore I had to…” Dorothy bashfully tries to defend her actions.

 

“No one has ever been able to stop me when I get going like that! No one!” Zip energetically accuses. “You must be strong! Super strong!”

 

“Well, I don’t like to brag but…” Dorothy makes an excuse, “…but yes, I think it’s why I was hired here.”

 

“You work here!? This is amazing! I’m Susie! But my super name is Zip. What are you doing for lunch? I’m always on the lookout for a new buddy!”

 

Dorothy can’t even process what just happened, let alone think about lunch plans. Before she can answer, Politenessman passes by and tips his hat, “Good morning ladies, and what a chipper morning it is! Wouldn’t you say?” The two girls are speechless as Politenessman keeps on walking by without even waiting for them to answer.

 

“What is his deal by the way?” Dorothy asks under her breath.

 

Zip smiles and waves at Politenessman. “I’ll explain everything at lunch.” They start to head back toward Dorothy’s desk. “Oh yeah! What’s your name, pal?”

 

“Dorothy.”

 

“No, I mean your superhero name.”

 

“Oh, I don’t have one of those,” Dorothy says slightly ashamed.

 

“Hmmm. I’ll brainstorm some options.”

 

Stay tuned for Chapter 9, the last story in Book 1, next Tuesday!


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