::Back at the entrance to Peterhof, security for the Awards was tight. So when the guard saw Spigot and Dunder walking up the red carpet he trained a mistrustful eye on them. He also shut the door::


Guard: This is an invitation-only event, gentlemen. I'd appreciate your clearing the way.


Spigot:  Foolish guard!  Do you know who I am?


Dunder: We've got invitations!


::He held out the invitations::


Dunder:  We're not trying to impersonate the High Marshal or Anything.


::Spigot kicked him in the shins::


Dunder: Uh, we are the Grand High Marshal!


Guard: 'We are'? But there's only one Grand High Marshal listed on my tablet. He and his wife are supposed to be coming.


Spigot:  Uh, I'm the grand high marshal and this is my lovely wife... uh, Dunderina!


::Dunder altered his voice to sound vaguely in a half-annoying way like a woman::


Dunder: Um, yes--I'm here with my hubby the Grand High Marshal!


Spigot: See? Now let us pass!


Guard: You don't look like any Grand High Marshal. And you sure don't sound like one.


Dunder:  I could have you shot.


Spigot: Yes, dear. I think you are right. He should be shot.


::The guard thought it over for a moment, then opened the door::


Guard: Welcome to the Golden Acorn awards. Enjoy yourselves.


::He watched as they entered, then grimaced::


Guard: Thembrian women, ugh...


::Meanwhile, Boris and Natasha had no such problems. Using expertly-forged invitations they walked right through security. Once they had milled with the crowd, they chose their moment and slithered down a side hall, heading backstage. There, they chose a dark corner to watch their chance, while they watched the huge display of awards::


Boris: There is more gold on that display than I could spend in a week--well, eight or ten days anyway...


Natasha: Yes, but the two guards there might object, dahling.


Boris: They will make their mistake soon enough.


::Now Dunder and Spigot had worked their way backstage as well and found another dark corner opposite the one Natasha and Boris were in::


Dunder: Gee sir, isn't it wrong to take one of those trophies? I mean, they're meant for someone who's worked hard to earn it.


Spigot:  Hard work is overrated.  Back home, you need a mountain of paperwork typed up in triplicate to get just get the paperwork to be rewarded for hard work.  We should ask ourselves, "What would the great patriotic flounder do,"


Dunder: Whatever was needed to do?


Spigot: Exactly. Ah, our moment has come...


::As Spigot and Dunder watched, the cheering and applause onstage drew the attention of the security guards. They seemed reluctant to leave their posts, but after more cheering they stole over to the curtain so they could watch. Boris and Natasha saw it too, and soon all four of them were creeping forward::


Boris: Almost...


Spigot: Almost...


::Just then, a young rabbit bounded into view, laughing happily. Behind the rabbit, chasing, was an annoyed gray wolf. The rabbit went right by the awards, seemingly oblivious to everything. The wolf however, stopped right next to the awards, shaking a fist::


Wolf: ZAYATS!!! <[i]Rabbit![/i]>


::This had the effect of bringing the security guards right back, and even as the wolf ran after the rabbit the four would-be trophy stealers slinked back into the shadows::


Spigot:  What was that?  What kind of security do they have here that people can just waltz in and get right up to the awards!


Dunder: But I thought that was what we—


Spigot: I mean people BESIDES us! We're Thembrians after all. Now come on, we need to think this over more...


::Quietly, they crept out of the backstage area, seeing no one else. Boris and Natasha left as well, heading outside to discuss their next move::



::After a few reports of suspicious people lurking around, the Rangers raided their costume supplies to help them blend in better. Chip and Dale now sported tuxes and Gadget wore a splendid white dress. She didn't appear that comfortable with the idea, but went along with it for form's sake. Soon they were outside, patrolling the area::


Gadget: Uh, do you really think this is necessary? I mean, we still sort of stick out and…


Chip: Wait, look over there! Isn't that Fat Cat and his bunch?


::Through the throngs of people, they spied the Felonious Feline and his band of ne'er do wells. A troubling moment later, they realized the same ones had spotted them::


Dale: Omigosh, they're seen us! What'll we do?

Gadget: We can't let them know it's us. Um, do something out of character!


::Dale took Gadget's hand and leaned forward to kiss it. Gadget blushed appropriately::


[img] http://www.indyranger.com/2006GA/GAtwo.jpg[/img]

Dale: Ah, ma cherie. Let me take you away from all this!


::Fat Cat and the goon squad watched the little performance, puzzled::


Fat Cat: I could've sworn they were those repulsive Rangers, but I've never seen the girl show any interest in either one of them…


Wart: Look boss, the blonde-haired girl's blushing, and the other chipmunk's been rejected!


Mepps: No way that could be the Rangers…


Fat Cat: Come on, we'll have to keep looking for our chance.


::All this time, Dale had been kissing Gadget's hand, not quite sure what else to do. Chip had played his role of the spurned lover well, but now that the audience was gone he turned back into his jealous self::


Chip: Okay Dale, that's enough.


Dale: Hey, I was enjoying that!


Chip: Yeah, a little too much!


Gadget: Oh now Chip, it was just to throw off the bad guys. Now come on and let's keep a watch out for them or any other trouble…