::From offstage, a cool rolling fog comes. A hooded character comes out, wearing a dark brown monk’s robe. The being is also holding a scythe. When it reaches the podium, the being faces the audience—to reveal a pair of flaming lights where eyes would be::


Being: Woe, for the darktime must needs come…


::The audience begins to stir and Dale throws up his hands in terror and runs up the aisle screaming. The being pauses a moment then rubs its “eyes” with a hand, extinguishing them. A black mask is removed, revealing a human face::


Human: It is amazing what special effects allow these days.


::Someone stops Dale at the back of the room and returns him to his seat, albeit still jumpy. Quartus, a member of the mysterious and secret Latin-speaking society from “The Untold Ranger Tales”, addresses the crowd::


Quartus: <I>Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris</I>. Or as you’re more likely to understand it, “If Caesar were alive, you’d be chained to an oar.”


::Quartus waits for a laugh, but Latin is a dead language after all::


Quartus: Greetings. I come to you tonight to award the Best Mystery/Thriller award. My order is quite mysterious in itself, although they did allow me to come here. I do understand that I’ll have to give up all my worldly possessions for it, though. Neil Diamond 8-tracks are so hard to come by…


::The audience laughs and Quartus continues::


Quartus: Let us see our nominees:


- "The Return of Winifred", Jareth

- "A Dream for the Ages", URT part 10, Indy and Chris Silva

- "Dust and Ashes", Winston

- "Of Mice and Mayhem", Fish


::Quartus takes the envelope::


Quartus: And tonight’s winner is, in a close one, Fish for “Of Mice and Mayhem”!


Dr. Batorious: Accepting for Fish tonight will be Dale and Foxglove.


::The two of them run up onstage::




Inspector Gadget (in the audience): That’s my line!


::Dale looks embarrassed, then continues::


<img src=“http://www.indyranger.com/DaleFoxy.jpg”>


Dale: This is a shock, compared to the fellow nominees! Especially since Fish doesn't really have the brainpower necessary to flesh out a perfect "full-circle" cloak and dagger. Well- he gave up any attempt at an intricate "Rhyme and Reason" type o' plot and went with the basics:


A standard-issue "what-the-heck-happened-to-kidnapped-person-I-dunno-but-we'll-find-out-the-hard-way" shoot-em up with kissing and stuff plot. But I guess that's what the doctor ordered this year.


::Fish grins, sitting in the audience::


Dale: Sometimes ya just gotta have a Cheese-burger, right?


Foxy: That's a cute analogy, sweetie


Dale: Anala-who? I was just sayin' I want a cheeseburger. Let's go.


::The audience applauds as they leave, and Quartus bows before replacing the hood on his robe and walking offstage::