::Backstage, the short hooded figure fiddles and tinkers, turning and twisting this and that until the various parts and junk take on the appearance of something remotely functional::

 

Nimnul: There! It’s done! Oh, wait...not dramatic enough. *ahem*  At long last, it is complete! My Aurum Attractum 5000 Gold Magnet is ready to help me get my just dues! Now all I need is a test...

 

::Peeking out from behind a curtain, the small hooded man spied a short, fat, well-dressed Chinese man pushing a golden statue on a wheeled base towards the stage::

 

Dim Sun: I am hoping Mr. Plotecher will enjoy this gift I am giving him. Oh, his stories are so greatly entertaining to me...

 

::The hooded figure aims his device and pulls the trigger. Immediately the statue turns and heads towards the curtains where the mysterious figure is hidden. Dim Sun nearly jumps out of his ornamented shoes::

 

Dim Sun: <B>Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!</B> Oh, no! It is happening again! Chirp-Sing! Chirp-Sing! Help me! Protect me from the living statues!

 

::As the scared emperor flees the scene, the hooded figure bursts from hiding and strikes a triumphant pose, not noticing his finger is still holding the trigger down::

 

Nimnul: Aha! Yes!! It works! Vengeance shall be sweet and—uh oh.

 

::It was about that time he noticed the statue was still aimed at him. He soon found they were both aimed at the wall::

 

Nimnul: Ooooff! Okay, ow, that hurts...

 

::Slowly and painfully he begins to extricate himself from the crushing predicament::

 

<hr>

 

::Just as the audience applause from the last award has died down, a long drum roll begins. Then, as it approaches a crescendo the entire room is plunged into darkness and silence. The crowd gasps with surprise and a puzzled murmur arises in the theater. From somewhere backstage a siren begins to wail and a single spotlight bursts into life on the stage.

 

A ripple of nervous laughter starts in a couple of rows and spreads outwards as a mouse in a black and white striped prison uniform and a biker's cap tiptoes across the stage. The spotlight passes over him twice, then snaps back to expose him to public gaze. The figure, now clearly identifiable as Brandon, the biker mouse from “Gadget in Chains”, stands paralysed by fright. The rest of the lights rise to reveal Officer Haggs standing next to him, tapping a nightstick against the palm of her hand::

 

Haggs: Well what have we here? Clearly a very naughty boy.

 

::Haggs winks at the crowd, getting some laughter::

 

Brandon: Women! They don't let you get away with anything!

 

::Brandon holds against his chest a large black ball that was attached to his ankle by a chain. Haggs marches Brandon over to the podium where stagehands dressed in black have already positioned the next Golden Acorn. Brandon took the podium first and looked down in mock sadness::

 

Brandon: I think it's only fair to say that neither of us ever expected to be asked to give an award after the part we played in the particular story we appear in. We're both very grateful to be here, me especially, since I'm not getting out as often as I'd like these days!

 

::More laughter, then Haggs takes over::

 

Haggs: Seriously though, given the writer's tendency to go on at length, it's probably a good thing we have to head back to Shrankshaw before too long.

 

Brandon: Yeah, my date has to be back home before nine.

 

::The audience's laughter was punctuated by the sound of Haggs discretely rapping Brandon over the head with her nightstick. Haggs held up the golden envelope and the card listing the nominees. Beside her, Brandon mimicked Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Arc by trying to swap the ball and chain for the Golden Acorn without her noticing::

 

Haggs: In the category of Outstanding Achievement, the nominations are…"

 

::She nudges Brandon::

 

Brandon: What really, I can read out the first one?"

 

::Haggs nods::

 

Brandon: Wow, I didn't think you'd give up the limelight that easily. The first nominee is…Honywumpus.

 

Haggs: I couldn't pronounce it. The next nominee is, uh, are Indy & Chris Silva.

 

Brandon: What, they tied?

 

Haggs: Must be for the ‘Dare to Dream’ series they wrote together. Your turn.

 

::Brandon leans over to read::

 

Brandon: The next nominee is Julie Bihn.

 

Haggs: And finally, but by no means least, Ray Jones.

 

::Applause from the audience begins again. Those watching the show at home see close-ups of the nominees’ surprised faces as they hastily put down their food and glasses, and accept the congratulations of their friends. Haggs belatedly notices the substitution of the ball and chain for the Golden Acorn::

 

Haggs: They're applauding you, aren't you going to take a bow?

 

::Blinking rapidly, Brandon grins and does so, revealing the Golden Acorn he was holding behind his back. Haggs quickly swaps it and the ball-and-chain back again. Brandon straightens and blinks at the shining Acorn in front of him. Haggs gives him a smug grin as she opens the gold envelope::

 

Haggs: And the winner, oh excuse me, the <I>winners</I> are Indy and Chris Silva!

 

::Indy and Chris rise up from their spotlighted seats and walk up to the stage, to the applause of the crowd. Haggs and Brandon welcome them, and Indy and Chris step to the podium::

 

Indy: Wow.

 

Chris: What more is there to say?

 

Indy: Well, to be honored with the accolade of ‘outstanding achievement’, it’s very humbling. I still remember the day I met Chris and from the start we hit it off as a writing team.

 

Chris: That’s true. And we’ve been writing at breakneck speed ever since.

 

Indy: We put our hearts and souls into the body of work that you, our audience and friends, have read and hopefully enjoyed over the past two year. It’s been such a rewarding experience, I only hope that each of you can experience the challenges to grow and develop as a writer that I have over this time.

 

Chris: The same goes for me. Thanks everyone. It’s been a pleasure.

 

::The crowd applauds as Indy and Chris leave the stage. Haggs keeps a close eye on Brandon, who tries to use the loud distraction as an opportunity to depart. She trips him and pulls him off-stage, his prison ball dragging behind him::

 

Dr. Batorious (announcing): And that concludes the United States categories. Don’t go away, because next we have the Special awards, including the All-Time Best categories where you the Rangerphiles chose who was the best of the best. Also ahead, the Lifetime Achievement award! While you’re waiting, you can view this trailer for Indy’s next big story—Internet viewers, <a href=http://www.angelfire.com/tv2/indyranger/indytrailer.html> click here</a> then prepare to view a new thread for a final set of awards.