The Golden Acorn Awards--United States Awards Opening--Break Four (settle in folks--we're gonna be here a while)

::Backstage, two men are seen arguing quietly as the US Awards are about to commence::

Indy: Come on, why won’t you wear it?

Rennod: Because it’s not me, that’s why! I refuse to be strangled by that collar!

Indy: Come on, you wore those jeans and that jacket all through the International awards. Haven’t you made your statement?

Rennod: It’s ongoing...that statement is, “I’m me.”

Indy: But Rennnnooooddd.....

Rennod: I’m sorry, Indy, but no...

::As they argue, a short, shadowy figure reaches out and plucks a copy of the ceremony program from Indy’s back pocket, then steals away deeper into the hidden recesses of the backstage areas::

Nimnul: Hmmm...let’s see....this is the US awards...there it is...“Outstanding Achievement.” Great! I’ll just...hey, wait a minute...what’s this? The “Lifetime Achievement Award?” An Achievement of a Lifetime? That’s even better! After all, who has achieved more in their lifetime than me? All my inventions, my brilliant schemes? And to think I made vermin famous! Now there’s an achievement! How can they dare to laugh at me when I’ve gotten an award for the all the achievements in my lifetime? They can’t! and they won’t! So that’s exactly what I’ll do!

::With that, a stream of evil, maniacal laughter begins drifting around. A stagehands hears it and shakes his head::

Stagehand: (to himself) I thought they put a stop to all those villains practicing their evil laughs backstage here...

::As the curtain rises to start the second half of the program, the mysterious (or is that annoying?) scaly cloaked figure finds he is going up with it, unnoticed::

Euripides: See, he's already going up in the world!

Voltaire: Pride goeth before a fall, though.

Sewernose: Mom-myyyyyyyyyyyyy!!

::Far below on the stage, the ceremony begins again::

Welcome Back! And the US Award for Best Original Web Site Section

::The camera focuses on Katie Courier, outside the Met. It’s night now, and she’s bundled up against the cold::

Katie: And we’re back with live coverage from the Golden Acorn Awards. As you saw, The J.A.M. was the big winner in the International awards. Stan, will we see something similar tonight?

::The scene shifts to Stan Blather, high up in one of the balconies, as people and animals are visible reassembling below::

Stan: Hard to say, Katie. The U.S. field is packed with talent, so there could be a run or we could see lots of people winning. We’ll just have to wait and—oh wait, I’m getting a signal that it’s time to resume the ceremony. I’m signing off now, Katie.

::The scene shifts back to Katie, outside::

Katie: Thanks, Stan. And now, we take you live to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House for the United States portion of the Golden Acorn Awards.

::Medium shot of stage. Widget enters stage left to polite applause, holding a sheaf of notes. She reaches the podium, shuffles the paper, waits for the applause to die down, and launches into her harangue::

Widget: The age of Man's dominion is at an end. Submit yourselves to you new leaders! All your base are --

::Pan a horrified audience. Close on Widget as she looks confused, and shuffles her notes again.::

Widget: Uhm, I'm sorry. That was my speech for the United Nations.

::Pan audience again, looking relieved. Camera settles on the Rangers, all of whom appear relaxed except for Chip.::

Gadget (to Chip): I'm glad it was just a misunderstanding -- I was worried there for a moment.

::Chip gives Gadget a sideways glance, seems about to say something, and then thinks better of it.::

::Close shot of Widget. She's over her moment of confusion.::

Widget: It goes without saying that with the invention of the Web, fandom has entered a new age. Gone are the badly mimeographed Star Trek fanzines of the 1970s, to be replaced by data on servers interlinked by a system designed to provide communications after nuclear war. It is useful to contemplate the consumer technology of the 21st Century and trace it back to artificial stars designed to burst inside populated cities, like some macabre game of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”.

::Cut to: Dale. He looks hurt.:

Dale: Even my Gameboy?

Gadget: Microprocessors were originally --

Monty (taps her arm): Hush, love.

::Cut to: Widget.::

Widget: The Cold War is long behind us, but the trillions of dollars and rubles spent on baking the earth clean of all life has left a legacy to be proud of, for without those fifty years of fear and torment and death, we would never have enjoyed the web content nominated for Best Original Web Content.

Widget: And the winner is...Ray Jones for his Sculpyture page!

Dr. Batorious:  Now, to accept Ray’s award for most original feature are Foxglove and Dale.

::Foxy suddenly flies up from behind the podium, carrying Dale with her feet. She looks more mature now, and in superb physical condition, carrying Dale without straining. Dale is wearing his familiar red and yellow shirt. Foxglove wears a white outfit, consisting of a white skirt, slit up one side to just above the knee. The white front comes up over her torso with straps attaching to a sort of jeweled choker around her neck. A small tasteful earring sparkles in each ear. There is a broach on her chest with three tiny gems - red, yellow, and blue::

::Dale leaps up to the microphone, pulling it down with his weight until Foxy can speak directly into it::

Foxy: Thanks, cutie pie.

::Foxy gives Dale a peck on the cheek and he blushes a bit through his fur::

Dale: Awww!

Foxy (to the audience): But the people we really need to thank are you. Without your talking and thinking about us, drawing our pictures, reading and writing new stories about us, then by now we’d be nothing but a few forgotten shadows. Thank you so much!

::The crowd claps, standing in approval. After half a minute, they settle back down and Foxy continues::

Foxy: Lots of people enjoy creating things. As a result, there is a vigorous crafts movement. Larger stores carry bigger selections of new materials, and there are new and improved materials of all sorts! The plastic polymer clays Ray has been learning to work with are just one example. For that, we are here tonight to present him an award.

::Foxy grins knowingly::

Foxy: Ironically, his one previous attempt at clay - in about the 8th grade - was just plain sad. A lumpy excuse for a pencil holder. But art is mostly practice and motivation. When Disney stopped merchandising us, and it became obvious that there would be no more “official” Disney toys and figurines, Ray decided that he would make more himself. Traditional ceramics would not have been practical, but the new polymer clays can be used at home. And they can be combined with all sorts of other materials like wire, wood, glass, plastic and metal toys, electronic and mechanical parts – almost anything you can think of!

::Foxy gets so excited thinking about this that she starts moving her wings fast, which takes her off the podium. The crowd chuckles as she regains her composure and returns to the microphone::

Foxy: On that note, Ray would like us to mention to the community that if we want new Rescue Ranger items, there are many other kinds of crafts that we can make ourselves. Beyond the traditional needle and thread—

Dale:  Like Enduring Man-Child’s handmade plushie of you!

Foxglove: Yes, sweetie, and the blanket Ray’s wife Imelda made.

Dale: I wish we could see Julie’s T-shirts!

Foxy: Me too. And there is so much more that can be done. Decoupage - I know Ray would be happy to have people print out some of his pictures and use them that way - painting on china plates and glass, wire sculpture, acrylic painting on a spot of bare wall in your room. I even saw on e-bay where someone had painted Chip and you in your Ranger outfits on a wastebasket! And there are so many good books on how to do almost everything now, too!

::Dale giggles::

Dale:  Yeah - I can see Eisner retiring and being haunted by fan-made Rescue Ranger art everywhere he goes. Heck, I’m gonna ask Ray for a couple of blocks of that polymer clay stuff myself!

Foxglove:  We’d better wrap this up, cutie. Indy’s pointing at his watch. Thanks again to all of you out there - you don’t know how much this encouragement means to Ray. You’ll really see some things next year. Good night!

Dale (waving):  Night, guys!

::Foxy spreads her wings and lifts off. She circles the podium once to warm up a bit, then swoops down on her main ‘munk. With a jerk, both are airborne. Dale points toward the lobby::

Dale:  The buffet table is that way, Foxy!

::Widget appears ready to say more, but the signals she gets from Jurgen and Indy are enough to dissuade her. She arches an eyebrow and walks off stage::

US Award for Most Informative Web Site

Dr. Batorious (announcing): Presenting the award for Most Informative Website, please give it up for Trackball!

::More than polite applause issues from the audience as a female mouse with light brown hair and glasses maneuvers her wheelchair from Stage Left. Cut to: Gadget and Chip, in audience::

Chip: I'm glad Widget's getting to sit this one out. She seemed to be getting...(awkward silence as he realizes he's talking about Gadget's sister)...she seemed to be getting tired.

Gadget: I think she's freaking out.

Chip: Oh.

::Cut to the stage, close on the podium. Trackball maneuvers behind it and turns towards the audience. The podium is about level with the top of her head. All we can see of her are her ears protruding beyond both sides of the podium. There is a moment of awkward silence, and then her hand snatches the microphone from the top of the podium, to vanish behind it.::

Trackball: First, I'd like to thank the Academy for this opportunity to increase the visibility of disabled mice.

::Cut to: Chip and Gadget in the audience. Gadget purses her lips and stands up to walk away.::

Gadget: Pardon me.

::Cut to: the podium, Trackball invisible behind it.::

Trackball: This award is for the most informative website.

::Offstage, we hear sawing and hammering.::

Trackball: This is an important award, because fandom is centered around the creation of information. Information is not merely power; information is the stuff of life itself.

::There is a sharp snap from offstage. A backdrop of Paris from a production of  “A Tale of Two Cities” unfurls and slams to the stage floor with a hollow boom and a muffled "Golly!"::

::Cut to: Audience. Widget has walked up behind Chip. She taps his shoulder, and whispers discretely into his ear.::

Widget: I'll go check.

Chip: Thank you.

::Widget walks off. When she is gone, Chip turns to Monterey, worry in his expression.::

Chip: Is it wrong of me to feel relieved?

::Monterey considers, and shakes his head.::

::Cut to: Trackball, still invisible behind the podium.::

Trackball: As an Internet service provider, I am well aware of the importance of the information which binds the fandom together.

::There is a loud "thunk" from offstage, and a basket lands next to the podium. It tips over, and an obviously fake head rolls out and off the stage::

Widget (from offstage): Too much speed, and not enough force.

Gadget (from offstage): Block and tackle should fix both.

Trackball: The free exchange of information has forged a little community unbounded by geography and age, united only by a common interest in an old cartoon.

::Pull back. Gadget and Widget push an extraordinary device from out of the wings. It appears to be a cross between a guillotine and a forklift with a large number of leg irons at the base. They maneuver it behind Trackball, who appears not to notice as Widget gets to work behind the podium with the leg irons while Gadget stands with her hand on a lanyard::

Trackball: And here we honor the Most Informative website with its role in keeping the community together.

::Gadget jerks the lanyard. The blade drops, pulling a block and tackle arrangement, which lifts Trackball slowly from the floor. When the blade hits bottom, Trackball's head has been lifted from behind the podium.::

Trackball: And the winner is Matt Plotecher, for The RR Database!

::The applause continues on for a little bit, but nobody steps out from  behind the curtain. The camera cuts back to the presenter, who looks about wonderingly at first, and then reacts as a slender hand taps her on the head from above. She flinches a bit as she looks upward and Victoria gracefully lowers herself down fully into the camera's view. The applause having died at her arrival, she takes a few moments to soak in the silence with a smirk of knowing and amusement before leaning forward and gently whispering into the microphone::

Victoria: As someone who fully understands the value of maintaining a web of strength, intelligence, and cunning, I will accept this Golden Acorn award on behalf of Matt. Thank you dears, ever so much.

::She blows a kiss to the quiet crowd, gathers up the award, and slinks up her silken strand back to the dark shadows high above. Gadget and Widget lower Trackball, who motors over to wave to the crowd, then maneuvers offstage to the left::

US Award for Best Website Layout

::From stage left come two uniformed police officers, one heavy-set African American with a mustache, and the other slightly built with red hair and his police cap hiding his eyes. Several of the audience’s more disreputable characters check to see where the nearest exit is, but in this case their concerns are ill-founded, for it’s Kirby and Muldoon, here to present the next award::

Kirby: The award for Best Web Site Layout awards the person whose web site shows a combination of organization, thoughtfulness and creativity that makes it a favored place in the ether to stop and spend some time.

Muldoon: It’s easy to navigate, attractive to the eye, and has lots to see and do. And of course the maintainer hasn’t committed any major felonies!

::Muldoon waits, but gets no punch out of his little joke so he continues::

Muldoon: Anyway, the nominees for Best Web Site Layout are:

The Foxglove Feature, by Jaleel
Indy's Ranger Museum, by Indy
The RR Database, by Matt Plotecher
The Russian CDRR Project, by Ruslan et al

Kirby: The envelope, please…I always wanted to say that!

::A stagehand brings out the envelope, and Kirby uses his official police issue penknife to open it::

Kirby: And our winner is The Foxglove Feature!

::The audience applauds as Jaleel comes up on stage::

Jaleel: Don’t shoot, I’m innocent!

::The audience laughs, and he takes the podium::

Jaleel: Dang! ^_^  I really don't deserve these awards. The present design of the Feature came from listening to suggestions from those who visited the site over the past few years. Not everything is perfect, and I'm trying to make strides towards a better site. But it's great to know that its current design makes getting around this rather huge site easy to do. Thank you again!

::The audience shouts its approval, particularly Foxglove and Man-Child, and Jaleel leaves along with the officers::

US Award for Best Website Content

::The audience cheers as the stage is cleared, but nothing happens::


::Suddenly, a puff of smoke explodes behind the podium, and when the smoke clears, there is a Mexican jaguar standing there, and the band begins to play “El Son De La Negra”. Naturally, the audience claps again. He is dressed in a formal black *charro* suit, which still had the “Hecho en
Mexico” seal in front, and “Calidad: EXPORTABLE” in the back, as well as a sombrero. He pads up to the podium and speaks::

J.A.M.: Good evening. Does anyone know where the local U-Haul place is? We need a bigger truck!

::The audience laughs as the spotlight shifts to the mountain of trophies at The J.A.M.’s seat. He looks at the audience for a bit and continues::

J.A.M.: Thank you, Kirby and Muldoon, and thank you all.

::As he speaks, the giant screen on the stage reads, WEB SITE AWARDS: BEST WEB SITE CONTENT::

J.A.M.: Today, practically anyone can put up a website about the Rescue Rangers, and put in
it art, fanfics, general thoughts, or what have you. But what *really* counts is the *quality* of what is in that website. The data submitted must meet a rigorous set of requirements *besides* being carefully studied and analyzed, and then submitted to the website in a perfect presentation. The nominees for Best Web Site Content are:

::The screen shows shots of the nominees as they are mentioned::

J.A.M.: ‘Foxglove Feature’, by Jaleel Beck.

::The audience cheers as Jaleel smiles::

J.A.M.: ‘Indy’s Ranger Museum’, by Steven ‘Indy’ Hamrick.

::Louder cheering, as the fedora-clad maintainer smiles::

J.A.M.: ‘Kat’s Gadget Hackwrench Page’, by Karen ‘Kat’ Mollet.

::More cheering as the cat-eared human smiles::

J.A.M.: ‘Tales From the Messageboards’, also by Karen ‘Kat’ Mollet.

::Even more cheering::

J.A.M.: ‘RR Database’, by Matt Plotecher.

::Still more cheering::

J.A.M.: And, ‘The Acorn Café’, by Steven ‘Indy’ Hamrick, Julie Bihn, and Steve C.

::The jaguar waits for the audience to hush, and then he takes the envelope and slashes it open with an extended index claw::

J.A.M.: And the winner is…

::He reads the envelope, and suddenly roars::


::McDugell enters from stage left and tromps up the podium. He doesn’t look as ecstatic as most of the other presenters, and makes no effort to dissuade this notion::

McDugell: For Matt, I say thanks for the award. See ya.

::He turns and leaves, and the jaguar watches him go::

J.A.M.: Guess he was ready to get back to the buffet…

::The audience chuckles as the preparations are made for the next award::

US Award for Best Website Maintainer

::Once McDugell leaves the stage, the jaguar returns to the podium and waits for the audience to calm down (or possibly uncalm) again. Then he continues::

J.A.M.: Of course, even the best content doesn't have that much meaning if the maintainer doesn't give feedback, or if he/she/it simply handles it in the dark, though the site may be available for everyone to see.


J.A.M.: Tonight we'll honor those maintainers who have kept in close touch with their visitors, who have accepted suggestions and implemented them in their sites, and who manage their sites through faulty/vanishing servers, blackouts, and lulls, without missing a beat in their updates. The nominees for Best Web Site Maintainer are:

::The screen shows the nominees again::

J.A.M.: Jaleel Beck, for 'Foxglove Feature'.


J.A.M.: Steven 'Indy' Hamrick, for 'The Acorn Café' and 'Indy's Ranger Museum'.

::Louder cheering::

J.A.M.: Karen 'Kat' Mollet, for 'Tales From the Messageboards'.

::Louder cheering::

J.A.M.: Ray Jones, for 'joneScientific'.

::Even more cheering::

J.A.M.: 'RR Database', by Matt Plotecher.

::Still more cheering::

J.A.M.: And Ruslan Matvienko, for 'The Russian CDRR Portal' and 'The Russian CDRR

::Cheering from the international section::

::The jaguar slashes open the envelope again::

J.A.M.: And the winner is…

::He reads the envelope, and roars::


::The “Raiders” march sounds as Indy walks up on stage, escorted by the jaguar, and comes to the podium::

Indy: Websites are the lifeblood of the community, so I’m more than pleased to receive this award. I started the Ranger Museum with the idea of having a place for every Rangerphile, young and old, to be able to see what Rangerphilia is all about. For that honor, I thank you deeply. However, part of this award is for the Café, so I can’t take full credit for that. Natasha Kashefipour has to be credited with starting the Café. Julie Bihn has been there from the beginning, ever-willing to help. And with Stephen Clouse, there would be no Acorn Café. Let’s hear it for them, folks!

::The spotlight switches to Julie and Stephen, and the crowd applauds wildly as they stand up and wave. Indy waves for them to come up and speak, and they do so::

Julie: It's an honor being one of the maintainers of the Acorn Cafe. Thanks, Indy, for including me. All I did was step in when I was needed, but I still appreciate it. I just want to say a quick thank you to all the early members of the Rangerphile community—I remember those days so well!—and to anyone who's ever contributed to the Cafe or the fan community in anyway. If it weren't for the patrons of the Cafe, there'd be nothing to maintain. Thank you!

Stephen C: And they said you couldn't be recognized for doing nothing.  This stuff practically runs itself! Which is good, because when you're messing with servers, it's hard to focus on global domina...err, deep-space radio telemetry. Yes, that's my day job. Really.

::The crowd applauds as the spotlight shifts from Stephen C., who is now busily talking on his cell phone, muttering something about “more respect in the House of Lords for dictators”. Indy leaves the stage, along with Julie and Stephen C. The J.A.M. applauds then prepares for the next category::

US Award for Best Website

::Returning to the podium, the jaguar speaks again::

J.A.M.: In this final category of the website awards, we combine the previous two awards: best content, and best maintainer.

::The screen reads, WEB SITE AWARDS: BEST WEB SITE.

J.A.M.: It takes a lot of effort to pull together the best of the submissions *and* manage the site through thick and thin, *besides* giving the content presentation, easy link flow, legibility, surfer-friendliness, and audience interaction. Therefore, the nominees for Best Web Site are:

::The audience tenses as the screen shows the nominees::

J.A.M.: 'Indy's Ranger Museum', by Steven 'Indy' Hamrick.


J.A.M.: 'Foxglove Feature', by Jaleel Beck.

::More cheering::

J.A.M.: 'Julie's Ranger Rama', by Julie Bihn.

::More cheering::

J.A.M.: 'Russian CDRR Portal', by Ruslan Matvienko.

::More cheering::

J.A.M.:  'The Acorn Café', by Steven 'Indy' Hamrick, Julie Bihn, and Steve C.

::Here, the audience cheers VERY loudly::

J.A.M.: And who could forget, 'The RR Database', by Matt Plotecher.

::Not as loud cheering, but loud nonetheless::

J.A.M.: And the winner is…

::The jaguar tears open his final envelope, reads it, closes it again, sighs, adjusts his microphone, and then roars like never before::


::Jaleel stands up, obviously shocked. The crowd stands and cheers him, and Foxy comes over and kisses him on the cheek. Jaleel walks up to the stage to the tune of “We Are the Champions”. Even with the jaguar up there, it takes a minute to restore order. Jaleel takes hold of his award::

Jaleel: Hearing that the Feature won an award for Best Website is rather humbling. I heartily thank everyone who nominated for it, because all the credit goes to those who made the Feature what it is. This award goes to each of the artists, authors, programmers, donators, and the visitors who helped put Foxglove on the map.

::The crowd stands and cheers again, and the J.A.M. encourages Jaleel to say more but the modest fellow refuses and instead waves to the audience and walks off with his trophy. The jaguar pads up to the microphone::

J.A.M.: And that's all from me tonight. Take it away, Indy!!!

::The jaguar takes on a very serious look, lowering his voice::

J.A.M.: Until next time, remember, I AM THE J.A.M.!! Good evening, everyone!!

::A puff of smoke [WARP!!!], and the jaguar was gone from sight::

US Award for Best Rangerphile-Created Non-Game Software

Dr. Batorious: And here to present the award for Best Rangerphile-Created Non-Game Software is…wait, that can’t be right.

Unseen Person: Oh, but I assure you it is!

::At the podium, a spectral figure appears. It is Sir Colby, the ancestor of Monty’s who was freed from his curse in “Ghost of a Chance”. The mouse is dressed in his ornamental musketeer outfit, as he was in the episode::

Sir Colby: Greetings from the afterlife! It can get rather dull at times, particularly in my family. All they do is recite all the adventures they’ve been on and talk about the desire to eat cheese again…

::Monty blushes in his seat, and Dale points and laughs at him::

Sir Colby: I have returned to give my thanks to the Rangers and to present this night’s award for Best Non-Game Software. Not that I have an inkling of what that might be. However, let us press on. The nominees are:

Best Rangerphile-Created Non-Game Software

Foxy KiSS, by Chip 'n Death, et al
Gadget KiSS, by Candy Courtnier
Gadget Screen Saver, by Pigmhall
RR Icons, by Disney Co. & Several Rangerphiles
The RR DeCoder, by Mr. Pi

Sir Colby: And the winner is…oh dear. Can I get someone corporeal up here?

::Monty volunteers, opening the envelope and holding it up for Sir Colby to read::

Sir Colby: It’s Foxy KISS!

::Foxy flies up from the audience and, in accordance with the award, tries to kiss Sir Colby. It was fruitless of course, but you can’t knock her for trying::

Foxy: Oh, what an honor! I know Chip ‘n Death wanted to be here tonight but he couldn’t so I’m accepting this award for him. I just loooove the way he draws me. It’s so CUTE!

Dale: Not to mention sexy as—

::Chip slaps his hand over Dale’s mouth, and Foxy giggles::

Foxy: Oh, Dale! But I know that Chip ‘n Death really appreciates this honor. Thank you all!

::Foxy flies off, and the crowd applauds wildly. Sir Colby doffs his hat and disappears::

US Award for Best Rangerphile-Created Game Software

::Onto the stage comes a young girl in a prison outfit, her hair in curls. It’s Buffy Ratskiwatski, who gave Chip ‘n Dale such a harrowing time in “Out of Scale”. Despite the prison guards escorting her, she seems in a delightful mood::

Buffy: Hello there, everyone. I’ve learned my little lesson and the big men here say I’ll be getting out *very* soon…

::She aims a grin at Chip and Dale, who gulp reflexively::

Buffy: I was glad to come tonight to award the Acorn for Best Rangerphile-Created Game Software. After all, I know how to appreciate a good game! Especially, the extra-special ones…

::Chip and Dale gulp again::

Buffy: But I’ve learned to play nice, unlike daddy. He’s gonna be in the clinker for a looooooong time! Bad daddy!

::Buffy sticks her tongue out toward the camera, and somewhere in a nearby prison loud and angry shouting is heard::

Buffy: Okay, let’s see who we have here. Maybe one game has those two cute squirrels in it…

Chip and Dale: CHIPMUNKS!!!!!!!

Best Rangerphile-Created Game Software

CDRR Slide Puzzle, by Pigmhall
Gadget and Gold, by Pigmhall
Rescue Ranger Adventure, by Jeff Parkes
Resque Rangers, by Pigmhall
Starcraft Addons, by Shredder

Buffy: I’ll have to play them all when I get out. And now, the winner…a tie between Rescue Ranger Adventure and Starcraft Add-ons!

::Buffy receives a note::

Buffy: Aw, looks like neither of them’s here. Shredder’s stuck in an airport with lots of snow, and Jeff’s in Spain on that two-year mission for the Mormons. Shredder phoned and said that he really appreciates his award, and enjoyed making the add-ons. I’m sure when Jeff gets back, he’ll be glad too. Maybe I’ll write him from prison and tell him he’s won.

::Buffy takes the award, which is promptly commandeered by the guards and given over to Indy. Buffy heads off stage::

US Award for Best Online Comic

Dr. Batorious (announcing): Here to present the award for Best Online Comic is—

Dale (busting into the announcer’s booth): Wait! I wanna do it! Comics are my life! PLEASE! Pleasepleasepleaseplease!

Dr. Batorious: Oh, all right…here to present the award is Dale Oakmont!

Dale: YEAH!

::Dale runs out on stage, and gets to the podium::

Dale: Sponge Boy, Kablammo Man, Captain Cosmic! What do all of these names have in common?

Chip (from the audience): They’re all annoying!

Dale: They are not!

Chip: Are too!

Dale: Are not! Besides, you can learn a lot from reading comic books.

Chip: Yeah, like how to turn your brainpan to mush…

Dale: Hey, that’s an insult! Now you—

::Dale is about to continue with his ranting on the value of comic books when suddenly someone shouts from far above "MAXIMIZE!!". Everyone immediately looks up to see a rapidly descending winged form, which promptly smashes into the podium with an ear-splitting smash.  "Golly", Gadget mutters to herself, "I'm glad Indy asked me to make sure that the stage was spec'ed to withstand a 2-ton object moving at 9 meters/s2!"::

::The form, which has just compacted itself into a large ball, stands up to reveal itself as the Transformer turned Rangerphile, Silverbolt::

Silverboolt: I'm sorry I took so long, I, uh, ran into a rather large Predacon patrol.

::He looks around, as if seeing if anyone was buying his story, then continues::

Silverbolt: It's an honor to be here, really. Although maybe Cheetor should be here—he was the one that introduced myself and Dinobot to the Rescue Rangers. It's amazing, the sheer number of ancient cartoons from so long ago that he had packed away in his holocollection. It's amazing that they survived as long as they did, especially the way he keeps his room. In any case, it is my privilege to present the award for Best Online Comic. The nominees are, uh...

::Silverbolt begins tapping furiously at a device on his wrist::

Silverbolt: Ah yes. They are:

Break Up by PandaFox,
Luigi Meets the Rescue Rangers  by 8-Bit Star, and
Strange Day at the Beach  by Chip 'n Death.

Silverbolt (muttering to himelf): That's a rather ominous name...(to the audience) Anyway, the winner of "Best Online Comic" is...a tie, between 8-Bit Star and Chip ‘n Death! I know Chip ‘n Death isn’t here, but lemme say that I just love his stuff! But 8-Bit is here, and he’s got a special something for us on the big screen. For you Internet viewers, click here to see it!

::Silverbolt waits while the audience views the acceptance. They applaud, then the Transformer takes off waves and flies upward out of sight. Dale meanwhile is offstage, arguing with Chip::

Dale: Well, if they’re so *bad*, why are we having an *award* for them, huh?

::Dale blows Chip a raspberry, and the fedora-clad chipmunk chases his red-nosed counterpart all across the backstage area::

US Award for Best FLASH Animation

::As Silverbolt is about to return and present again, a masked canine gets in front of him::

Flash: Excuse me, but would it trouble you if did this one in your place?

Silverbolt: Well…okay…

::Silverbolt watches from offstage as the caped canine runs on stage::

Flash: RUFFruffruffRUFFruuuuff!

Flash (the Rangerphile): YEAH! Get ‘em, Flash!

Flash (the Wonder Dog): Thank you, thank you. I’m here to present the next award, for FLASH animation. Truly, I must admit I had no idea you people thought so much of me! I mean, animations of moi? I am truly, truly humbled.

::Indy comes out on stage, whispering something in the canine’s ear::

Flash: WHAT!? But I thought…oh, pooh!

::Flash walks off, leaving Indy standing there at the podium::

Indy: Uh, heh heh. Case of mistaken award identity.

::Silverbolt walks on stage, saving Indy the trouble of looking embarrassed, and steps behind the podium, dwarfing it::

Silverbolt: The other award that I am pleased to present is Best Animation. 'Best Animation'?  What in the...

::He taps out a few more keys::

Silverbolt: Oh! Best Animation (Flash)! That makes more sense. I didn't think anyone here could have been in on the Disney animation team.

::He chuckles gamely, but receives only a few short laughs from the audience::

Silverbolt (mumbling to himself): I told Indy I don't do public speaking very well…(to the audience) Anyway, the nominees for Best Animation (Flash) are:

Chip 'n Dale  by Mercury Storm,
Payback Trailer  by Matt Plotecher, and
The Foxglove Feature Intro  by Jaleel.

Silverbolt: I rather liked the Payback Trailer myself. Had that movie-preview kind of feel. Well, I suppose that was the point...
::Silverbolt breaks off as he notices Indy making the universal "Get it moving buddy!" sign::

Silverbolt: Ahem, yes. And the winner of Best Animation (Flash) is Jaleel for the Foxglove Feature Intro!

::Silverbolt steps back as Jaleel stands up to acknowledge the award to thunderous applause. Jaleel comes up, and he and Silverbolt shake hands—or rather he shakes Silverbolt’s index finger. Then Jaleel takes hold of his award::

Jaleel: Wow!  Honestly, I didn't think that little ditty would garner an award, but it's very flattering. This was actually a shortened version of an earlier piece done with more scenes from the cartoon. I'm still learning Flash, but getting an award for it is certainly encouraging to keep it up. Thank you!

::The crowd applauds again and as the noise finally quiets, Silverbolt steps back up to the microphone::

Silverbolt: Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of this prestigious ceremony. You may be pleased to know that Disney DOES eventually make the Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers movie, in the year 2112. That's only... uhh, hmm. Sorry.  I suppose that's not going to be much consolation to anyone here.

::Silverbolt clears his throat in embarrassment::

Silverbolt: Well, in any case, the movement never dies. Not before we end up getting kicked backwards in time a few million years, anyway. So keep the faith!

::Silverbolt then steps off the podium to polite applause, transforms to Beast Mode, and flies off towards the buffet tables::

US Award for Best GIF animation...

::A young man wearing a plaid shirt and glasses hesitantly walks onto the stage, approaches the podium and pulls out a piece of paper, which he is about to read from. However, a sudden gust of wind snatches the paper away, sending it sailing off towards the great lost speech burial grounds of old. Painless Doc Johnson shrugs and improvises::

Painless: Oh! Well. I -did- have a speech prepared. It was about how winning isn’t everything, but it’s still quite nice anyway. I even had an opening joke! It went something like ‘a vole, a leopard, and a newt walk into a dark alley and change a lightbulb’ or something. I just can’t remember. I’m really quite sorry about it.

::Silence reigns supreme like a Roman emperor of old, and Painless figures it’s best to move on::

Painless: My memory isn’t very good, especially when I’m nervous. I end up jabbering away and forgetting why I came, and why I’m even talking, and that there are other people around, and what color the sky is, and my birthday, and getting people their Christmas fruitcake, and all kinds of other important things. Totally slips out of my mind, you know? Now... I  -did- have something important to do. Something to do with awards. Oh yes! Presenting the nominees for the category of Best GIF Animation! And the Nominees are...

1) ‘Gadget at a Railing in the Rain’, by Alexy ‘Shredder’ Kobyshev
2) ‘Gadget Bop’, by Matt Plotecher
3) ‘The RR Symbol’, by Ruslan Matvienko

::Painless calls for the envelope, then promptly lays it down on the podium::

Painless: And the winner is...oh wait, what did I do with it?

Indy (from offstage): Look down!

::Painless does so, then looks over at Indy in consternation::

Painless: What’s wrong? I didn’t wear my flip-flops!

Indy: No, on the podium! The podium!

::Painless looks there and with a sigh of relief takes the envelope::

Painless: Whew. Wouldn’t want to lose this baby. Hey, the big winner is Matt Plotecher for ‘Gadget Bop’!

::Strict, Arc, and Cyan step out from behind the curtain. They have surprised everyone by actually donning the appropriate attire for the event. Well, sorta. Cyan’s rented tux is too large for his short frame. Arc wears a decent pair of slacks and a blouse, but naturally both have small stains of soot, dust, and tomato sauce on them. Strict, of course, still has trouble mastering proper hygiene habits, has tape around the bridge of his horn-rimmed glasses, and is about two sizes to big for his tuxedo. The cummerbund, in particular, looks as if it could go at any moment::

Cyan (straightening up as much as possible to see over the podium): We’re here to accept this award, though why us in particular is totally beyond me.

Arc: Thank you, Mr. Tact.

Strict (inspecting the award): What’d you think this’d get on e-bay?

Arc (grinning): A corn? Get it?

Cyan: No—I refuse to.

::Cyan turns back to the audience::

Cyan: I suppose that we should thank people and some junk, but I really don’t care to.

Arc: Works for me. Who’s up for another trip to the buffet?

Strict: First I gotta change outta this get-up; I feel like a third-rate James Bond impersonator....

::They exit off to the side. Painless scratches his head for a minute, then prepares to give another award. The announcer comes on again::

Dr. Batorious (announcing): When we return, the Artistic Categories, including Best Artist and Best Artwork. Stay tuned—the Golden Acorn Awards returns in a few minutes…

Break Five--The plot(s) unfold...

::The short, hooded man stalks the backstage area, tottering from hiding spot to hiding spot::

Nimnul: Those vermin will be everywhere, all watching over that award. I know I can count on that, so I’ll need some way to get it away from them. I know just the thing to do!

::Nimnul takes a bunch of folded blueprints from the inner pocket of his cloak::

Nimnul: All these awards have gold in them, and I’ll bet that Lifetime Achievement one has a heap of it! I’ll build the Aurum Attractum 5000 Gold Magnet, guaranteed to attract gold and nothing else wherever it’s pointed! Get your orders in, in time for next Christmas!

::Nimnul laughs at his little joke to nobody in particular, then returns to his ranting::

Nimnul: With it, I can zap the award to my hands from across the theatre and make my escape before those pesky rodents can make a move to stop me! It’s ingenious! It’s foolproof! It’s prefect! It’s...

::The professor takes a moment to calm down::

Nimnul: …unbuilt, as yet. Ah, petty details...all this junk backstage ought to be of use—this junk, those lights, cameras, and sound equipment should make fine raw materials...

::And he begins to scavenge parts together to further his scheme. Meanwhile, high above the stage, the mysterious cloaked figure begins to get hold of himself::

Euripides: Don't you feel on top of the world?

Voltaire: Remember what I said about pride and a fall?

Sewernose: I wish you wouldn't say things like that!

::Voltaire crosses his arms::

Voltaire: Oh, great...first a fear of modern plumbing, now he's going to add vertigo to his list of problems.

Sewernose: I had no problem with Mr. Hitchcock's script! I just couldn't convince him I was scared!

Euripides: The show must go on! There is certainly a way down.

Voltaire: Gravity comes to mind...

::Sewernose draws back from the catwalk and the dizzying heights::

Sewernose: Gaah! (yelp!)  That would hurt more than the rhythm of the script.

Euripides: Yes, could we have some more constructive criticism?

Voltaire: Well, there is the curtain rigging above us, if he could climb up...

Euripides: See? There we go!

::Sewernose grabs the curtain and begins to climb::

Sewernose: Ah, it's still not too late for my comeback!

Voltaire: Just make sure it's not a fallback...

::And the cloaked one chuckles, content with a secret thought::

::Dale is having a great time flirting with one of the servers, a ravishing looking female squirrel dressed in a French maid's outfit that was very flattering to her killer figure. She is serving fresh pizza toast::

Dale: and then, when all the others were free, I got into the tank and chased the bad guys all around!

::The red-nosed chipmunk grins his most charming grin::

Server: Wow, that's really impressive, but wasn't the tank designed for humans?

::The server studies Dale with big, impossibly green eyes::

Dale: Well, yes, I suppose it was.

Server: Then why was the control helmet just the right size for you?

::Dale frowns. That was a good question::

Dale: Huh, I never thought about that.

::He puts on his big, yellow top hat (the one he’s hidden from Chip for the entire evening)::

Dale: I suppose.

::Dale was unable to finish his thought as he is ambushed from behind by a blazing mass of hormones::

Dale (panicky): Tammy! What are you. Urk!

::Dale urks as the squirrel gives him a mighty smooch under her mistletoe, and like a number of fortunate victims before, drops him like a sack of rotten potatoes as she darts out of sight, leaving Dale dazed, and off balance::

Server: Look out!

::The chipmunk stumbles back, windmilling his arms in an effort stay upright, and knocks her tray of fresh, steaming pizza toast flying::

Proceed to Part 5