Best Mystery/Thriller

::Out onto the stage walks a short red squirrel dressed in a tuxedo. William Worthington the III, Doohickey’s assistant from Reservation Dogs and The Wandering Feather, carries himself with an air of nobility uncommon for a simple mechanic as he makes his way to the podium::

William: It is a distinct pleasure to be here tonight to present the Golden Acorn for the Best Mystery/Thriller of 2008. There is little one can say about what constitutes a mystery, much less a good one, so in deference to the very nature of the subject I shall leave the definition… a mystery. It is often the case, however, that mysteries are tied to the more visceral experiences that make a good thriller, a literary rollercoaster ride that leaves your heart pounding and skin tingling without having to leave the safety of a chair in one’s own home.

This year, the works nominated for this category are:

“Dry Bones” by L. Cranston
“Awakening” by Zaptifun and Mr. Spumoni
“Tears For the Devil” by Bubble’s Big Brother
“Time Waits For No One” by Mayhem
“‘Tomorrow’ is For ‘Never’” by Gyrotank
“Burdon of Honor” by L. Cranston
“Diamonds in the Desert” by Midnight Man

::William reaches into in inside pocket and removes… Drywall Weasel. The squirrel’s dignified expression is only briefly replaced be shock as he notices the vermin, then turns to the audience to comment dryly::

William: Ladies and gentlemen, a visual reference for our category.

::Drywall hands William the envelope he had been seeking. The squirrel nods politely to the weasel before jamming him back into his pocket. As he speaks while opening the envelope::

William: The recipient of the Golden Acorn for Best Mystery/Thriller is…Gyrotank, for “Tomorrow is for ‘Never’”!

::A familiar humming can be heard again, but his time it seems to come from all directions at once. Then it suddenly changes into a screeching of wheels followed by a dull sound of a hitting something. There is a scream, shattering of glass, a cry of some unearthly bird, shuffling of feet, a monotone lifeless voice mentioning brains and finally a roller-skate wheel rolls across the scene. Nobody knows what to think about, and questions like "What the heck is going on here?!" can be heard. Suddenly, without any warning, Gyrotank appears. His dryer is switched off and he drives out on the scene in complete silence::

GYROTANK (in synthesized voice): Trans-for-ming!

::And he proceeds to do just that. His rear axle lowers, lifting up his front part. At the same time the gyroframe axles lengthen and it separates into two halves. The dryer rotates 90 degrees upwards and the rear axle moves under the hull, making the machine stand vertically. The gyroframe halves assume horizontal positions and two plungers closest to their front ends move there. The cockpit separates from the rest of the hull and bends forward along with the front half of the skateboard while the rear wheels move to the sides to provide more stability. The result of these transformations is a robot towering above the stunned spectators::

GYROTANK (in his normal voice): Isn't this mystery thrilling?

::The silence that follows is a sign of agreement::

GYROTANK: Good to hear that (chuckles). I'm sincerely grateful and surprised to receive this award. Looks like the words of Stainless Steel Rat who said my story was a real contender for the Best Thriller were truly prophetic. Hope he didn't have to live through this ceremony several times to get to know this.

::Winks. Don't ask how he does that::

GYROTANK: I must say I was really awed to get such a response from such a prominent and highly-decorated writer whose level of technical expertise amazes me and whose stories were my inspiration while I was writing "TifN", especially Part 4. Thank you for those hours of pleasure I had while reading your works!

::The spotlight finds Stainless Steel Rat in the audience, who stands and waves to the audience’s applause::

GYROTANK: You manage to make each story unique while at the same time keeping them in-style. Every one of them, from short one-shots to epic novels, carries a premium quality mark on them. Keep it up!

::GYROTANK applauds Stainless Steel Rat and, after declutching his plungers, continues::

GYROTANK: Thanks again everybody for this award! It's a good thing to know your work is enjoyed since it gives the reason to keep up and go on. Long live the Fandom!

::Having said that, Gyrotank snatches the Acorn with his hand plunger and rolls behind the curtain ducking slightly to avoid hitting the ceiling and floodlights::

::After offering his congratulations to the recipient, William proceeds off the stage. Only those who knew him well could discern the slight hint of irritation in his expression. Once backstage he reaches into his pocket and attempts to drag the weasel out to ‘thank him’ properly… only to discover his absence::

William: The mystery continues, I see.