::Naavah and Nyperold walk out on stage, Naavah pulling him by the hand. Nyperold is obviously reluctant::


NAAVAH: Come on!


NYPEROLD: Why am I doing this?


NAAVAH: Because the lectern is too tall for me and we forgot to get a stool.


NYPEROLD: Well... okay. But only because it's you.


::Nyperold gets on his hands and knees behind the lectern::




::Naavah takes off her shoes and carefully steps up onto his back. Nyperold grunts a bit under the strain::


NAAVAH: Stories. Stories can take you many places and express ideas in a way that a reader finds it easier to take in. Since nearly the dawn of language, sentient beings have been telling stories.


::Nyperold looks worried::


NAAVAH: The first storyteller--




NAAVAH: ...Yes?


NYPEROLD: Skip to later in the speech, willya?


NAAVAH: ...Oh. Okay!


::Naavah looks over the first page, takes it, and puts it in back. Then she does the same with the second page, and a third and fourth. Then another three..::


NYPEROLD: Naavah, what's keeping you?


NAAVAH: I'm sorry, but I wrote it for an inanimate footstool. Or for not needing a footstool. Ah, here's a good place.


NYPEROLD: I'm glad.


NAAVAH: A good long story can be a wonderful thing, but that's little consolation when you have little time to read. And that's where short stories come in: giving readers a good story without the massive investment of time.


NYPEROLD: Speaking of time, I think mine's up! Get off or you'll fall off!




::Naavah turns and hops off. Nyperold gets up and stretches. Naavah puts on her shoes and stands off to the side of the lectern.


NAAVAH: Sorry, Nyper. I'll give you a backrub later.


NYPEROLD: Oh, thanks, that'll be nice.


::Nyperold takes the mike out of the holder and holds it, switching between pointing it at himself and at Naavah as they speak::


NYPEROLD: The nominees for Best Short Story are:


“Mr Mole's Christmas” by KSharbaugh

"Cheese Checkers" by Iceberg210

“Little Bright Star – A Ranger Tale Of New York” by Midnight Man

"A Swing and a Ms" by Dynamoe

“Gliding Light” by Lilacstarprint

"Piece #1", by The Nobody

"Flying to the Light", by TinManNFO

"My Dearest Little Gadget" by Iceberg210

“The Trials of Cooking” by nutsforbrains

“Small Change” by Indy & Chris Silva

“Requiem for a Reprobate” by Mr. Spumoni

::The drum for the drum roll is heard, but the drummer only strikes the drum 5 times::


NYPEROLD: ...Any more short jokes this presentation?


::The envelope is lowered on a string... but it stops just out of reach::


NYPEROLD: I guess that answers my question.


::He jumps for it, but the envelope is pulled up. He's obviously being teased::


NAAVAH: Hey Nyperold, let me try.


NYPEROLD: Wellll, if you really want to.


::Nyperold stands aside, and Naavah stands where he was. The envelope lowers not only within her reach, but at chest level. She grabs the envelope and removes the string, which is pulled up and away. The drumroll starts again in earnest::


NAAVAH: And the winner of the Best Short Story award goes to...


[i]::She breaks the seal, opens the envelope, and reads it.::[/i]


NAAVAH: Cheese Checkers by Iceberg and The Trials of Cooking by nutsforbrains!


NYPEROLD: Come on up!


::A gray wolf gets up from his seat in the back of the theater and shakes the paw of the canine sitting next to him as the wolf makes his way to the aisle. As Dog Years by Rush plays in the background Erik Ice Berg ascends the stairs leading to the stage and walks in back of the podium shaking Nyperold’s hand and then turning to face the audience::

Iceberg: Well, thank you all! I really can’t believe this, I’m absolutely in shock!


::The wolf’s eyes adjust to the bright stage lights::

Iceberg: I really appreciate your appreciation for Cheese Checkers and all my writing really. Let me first say though before I really get going that I can be a bit verbose, as most of you very well know, so I’ll try and keep this relatively short.


::Smattering of knowing laughter from the audience::

Iceberg: A couple quick thank-yous are in order to start however. First thanks to all you for reading my stuff, and especially thank you to those who gave me feedback and criticism of my work. It wouldn’t be near as good without all your help. A couple by name I must mention are Cranston and Mark for their great feedback along with all the others who gladly gave feedback on Cheese Checkers and everything else I’ve written.

There is one canine though in particular I must thank from the bottom of my heart. TS! Thank you so much for not only being an amazing editor who makes my stuff worth reading but also for being a great friend. Much of this award should go to you for being there and giving me help on all of my stuff no matter how bad or good it is you’re always there to take a look at it, and I really appreciate that. Beyond that you’re a great friend which I appreciate even more. Thanks again TS, and can we get a round of applause for our California Canine?

::The crowd gives an inspired applause to TS before settling down to let Ice continue.

Iceberg: There’s one last thing though that I must mention. I thank all of you, all of the Café, and all of the fandom because you guys are what make this place worth coming to. The best part of this place is that whoever you are you are welcome to join into what is truly more a family than a forum. It really means the world to me to have a place that I belong in and a place where I can make so many fantastic new friends. You guys are great and I really appreciate all you have done for both each other and for me.


::He takes a deep breath::


Monty (in the audience): Hang on, mates, he’s going for the storyteller’s breath. And I oughta know…

Iceberg: The one thing I must challenge us all to do is to keep this welcoming attitude. This year we not only had many new rookies that were brought into the fold but also some elders that were brought back as well. I think our welcoming atmosphere is not only what brings people to our fandom but also makes them want to stay.


However it is a difficult thing to always be so open and welcoming so I challenge us all to continue to try to be even better at welcoming those who we do not know, or have not seen for a while, into the arms of the fandom. Let us remember those at both the Acorn and at CnD as well as those outside those two forums. Let us try and be the most inclusive we can and join people together not just for the Rangers but for people, and in order to allow people a place to call home and a place to belong.


I also challenge everyone here to try and get to know the rest of the fandom better. If you don’t have an Acorn account grab one, if no CnD account grab one. Visit the RR Database or Indy’s page, or the Russian Ranger Head Quarters. Growing the fandom isn’t just about outward growth but growth on the inside as well. Get to know everyone here better, meet new people, forge new friendships and continue to do the great work you all have done in order to make such an amazing place we call home.


::He smiles out on the audience, who reflects that smile back::

Iceberg: Thank you again everyone!


::As the audience applauds, Nutsy is still in shock in her seat. She was completely shocked to hear her name called a second time. The microphone already is within easy each by the time she ascends the stage again::

Nutsy: Wow!


Wubbzy (in the audience): Wow, wow, wow!


Nutsy: I know we are supposed to keep our acceptance squeaks short, which shouldn't be too hard since I'm really not sure what to say, except thank you all, again! There are some wonderful writers, a lot of talent on this forum, and I am truly honored to receive this recognition for my first attempt into the Rescue Ranger fanfiction realm. Thank you!


NYPEROLD: Great work, both of you!


[i]::The two start offstage as the winning authors leave. As they're almost off::[/i]


NAAVAH: There sure were a lot of short jokes in this presentation.


NYPEROLD: Yeah, but at least that should be it.


::The lights briefly experience a short. The two stop::


NAAVAH: "Should"?


::The two continue off into the wings::