Case 2:13-cv-45524-PAD Document 4 Filed 16/01/20 Page 78 of 285
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT – EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Annotation for Exhibit C: Please note the intense level of scrutiny focused on those involved in this case. While this helped bring information to light which would otherwise have been unavailable for the trial, it also led to a significant spread of misinformation. This had a large effect on the time taken before the situation’s true severity was understood by the authorities.
Chapter 5 – The Beginning of the End for silentwakes
Guys! This essay isn’t even finished yet and it’s already been featured by the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed too.1 It got about a million hits last night alone. You’re warming the cockles of my frozen heart here.
Unfortunately, the newcomers have kicked off a whole new wave of anonymouse in-fighting. I’m not going to enforce any strict rules in the comments, because I think you’re welcome to a healthy discussion about all of this. I will ask that newcomers keep the volume of hate to a minimum though. Comments containing just pure outrage and vitriol are not productive; however, I will engage in a reasonably lively debate with you, if you wish to play devil’s advocate.
To start, I just wanted to apologise to the anonymous commenter from NBC who told us about some Nathan/ex Twitter drama that was about to drop. A few days ago, these tweets were posted by Nathan:
@Nathan_ODonnell Having a blast at the wrap party of #LochandNess S2 with @NBC! Series starts in October, don’t miss it.
@AliceOseman @Nathan_ODonnell sounds like you’re having fun. Last year was very memorable indeed, if you know what I mean 😉
@Nathan_ODonnell @AliceOseman Oh, do I ever. We’ll have to have a rerun one of these days, babe.
Dear anonymous NBC commenter, I’m sorry for doubting you, and I’ll take any hints from your IP seriously next time. Please come back!
I did some more research on the flirty Twitter exchange with this so-called ex @AliceOseman. I found it very interesting that TMZ ran a story seeding Nathan’s “on/off again relationship” just last week, ready for these tweets to come out. That story was apparently written out of the blue, as at that time there was no reason to believe Nathan was even talking to any of his exes.
This is just more evidence that Management not only stages events to further their bearding narrative, but that the PR team at NBC fed out info to various news outlets about @AliceOseman ahead of time. I see you, NBC. I see you. This was clearly fed to the tabloids in direct response to my essay (I’m glad you’re enjoying it!).
Nathan also tweeted this today:
The next season starts so soon! October! I can’t wait. It’s interesting that he didn’t mention the visa stuff at all though. That seems to have been pushed under the carpet already. I’m going to keep investigating. I’m certain there’s still stuff to find out there. Rob/Nathan green card marriage fics, give them to me!
Sorry this chapter is a bit late, by the way – it was my little sister’s birthday yesterday. She breeds and sells gerbils for pocket money (she literally makes more than I do at my part-time job, urgh), so I got her a new stud – a rare breed of gerbil that I had to drive an hour to pick up. She loves him. I sellotaped a quarter inside her card too, like all good sisters should.
Okay, on with the chapter.
Events of July 2014 – the introduction of a new player
I’ve finally got enough of the evidence I need to carry on telling you about the LiveJournal drama. I’ve gathered some info that’s shocked even me – I had no idea how far this really went. Most of you seem to have accepted that Rob was @silentwakes, which will make this all the more interesting.
From what I’ve already told you, I think it’s clear that Rob/@silentwakes absolutely thrived on the attention he was getting from the fan community. He loved being the centre of the action, and clearly even back then he had the aptitude for celebrity. It’s so nice to watch the baby Rob from these posts grow from a fledgling chick into the majestic hawk we all know and love.
For example, here’s a typical post from him:
Hands up if you spent all of NYE dancing with a pretty boy with messy hair and glasses, only to realise after a sneaky midnight kiss, when you asked for his name and number, that they were really a very handsome lesbian who was surprised to find that you were not, in fact, also a lesbian? Just me? Okay, then.
By the way, I’m nearly done with the next chapter of Exquisite. Here’s a cookie:
Fang pinned Jayden back against the wall, claws just barely scraping the skin of his neck.
“Do you feel that?” he asked. “How much your heart is racing?”
Jayden swallowed. “So what if it is? What are you going to do about it?”
Eeeee. If anyone wants to beta-read it, wave in the comments. I’ve got a hell of a cold and it’s fogging up my brain a bit, so I’m going to miss all sorts of spelling mistakes, I’m sure.
Something like that would get an average of eighty comments, all saying things like:
Your sense of humor just cracks me up! Did you get the girl’s number anyway? Because I wouldn’t say no….
That snippet is so cute! I can’t wait for the next chapter. Hurry, please!
He was at the peak of his BNF fame. And that’s when the real scandal started. He posted this unlocked post in July 2014:
I’m having a really rough time, guys, and I kind of need your help. My parents recently found out I’m gay. They’ve made it really hard for me to live with them. I’m hoping to move out within the month, but to make that happen, I’m going to need more money.
You’ve all been really good to me these past few months, and I honestly feel like I’ve found a family. So although this feels weird, I was wondering if some of you could act like my surrogate aunts and lend me some money? I’ll pay you all back when I can, but for my own safety I need to move out, ideally as soon as possible.
You can send me donations here. You don’t even need to give your name, if you don’t want to. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
This post received ninety-nine comments, and was shared by thirty-one people. Two days later, @silentwakes posted again:
I honestly don’t know what to say. I was hoping for a few hundred dollars to help me get started in a new place, but my fundraiser has received so many donations that it actually broke the system for a while. flails
Especial thanks go to @mswriter, @nessiesgirl and @effiemeral for your extraordinary donations – you’ve been so generous. But most of all, thank you to @lillyletters. I was honestly blown away by your kindness. I’m not sure how you came across my post, but I truly cannot believe how nice you’ve been to a total stranger. Thirteen thousand dollars! I don’t even know what to do with that kind of money. I’m going to be completely safe for the next few years. *g*
Please let me know if you want anything at all in repayment – a fic about a prompt of your choice, or something even more personal like a letter a week in the post. At the very least, I’m going to comment on every single one of your posts for the rest of your life. Thank you.
@lillyletters It was my absolute honour to help. You’re so brave and strong. I know you’ll use the money wisely.
@effiemeral 13 thousand?! Hah. I guess you didn’t need my ten dollars, then. But seriously, Lilly, I don’t know you, but you’ve done a really good thing here. I can vouch for @silentwakes. He’s a good person.
This was a massive event in fandom, as it would be anywhere. Everyone was really happy for @silentwakes for a while, and that could have been the end of his drama. But then . . . the doubt set in.
More on that next time, because I have a flourish for dramatics, and I love a good cliffhanger.
Rob’s Contribution to the Fandom
To finish off today’s chapter, I wanted to share one of @silentwakes’ fics – yes, I got access to some of them! This one isn’t his first one, unfortunately, but it’s one of his most popular, posted a few months before his fundraising extravaganza.
A long-time member of Loch & Ness fandom emailed this to me. She had this to say:
I had completely forgotten about silentwakes and his Many Aliases until someone who knew I used to be in fandom linked me to this essay, when they saw it on huffpo. They asked if I knew any of the people in it, and I laughed it off – until I looked more closely and realised that I did remember silentwakes. It kind of sent me into a nostalgic spiral of wasted time.
When I saw that you were looking for posts, I dug up my old LJ account to see if I could access anything through it, but silentwakes never friended me back, so I don’t have any posts I can share with you.
But I went up to the loft and dug out my old shoebox of printed out fics (mainly Loch & Ness, but there’s more than a few Harmony novels in there too!). I managed to find this one by silentwakes, so I’ve scanned it in for you.
Sorry for the pencil marks on the scan – my printer ran out of ink halfway through, so if I remember rightly I decided to draw on the bottom halves of the letters instead of reprinting it. Fifteen-year-olds: more time than sense.
I hope it’s useful, anyway. I haven’t caught any episodes of the TV series yet, but I’m going to have to, now I know that Jayden is played by one of my favourite writers!
Shannon is our new lord and saviour, because this, guys, was most definitely worth the wait. It’s better than anything I could have imagined. Brace yourselves.
Presenting, Rob Henning’s greatest masterpiece – more emotional that the scene that won him an Emmy. More tragic than the season one finale, that was voted Best Episode at the Teen Choice Awards. Without exaggeration, this will change your life forever.
“No.” The words were more of a sub-vocal growl than anything audible.
Jayden sighed and ran his hands through his hair. “You can’t do this to us. You agreed to help us. Lyra is –”
“I didn’t do this for Lyra.”
“You didn’t do this for- I know you didn’t do it for Lyra, jesus! But I thought you’d have some common decency and follow through on your promises!”
Fang stepped close to him, opening his mouth to speak. A muscle pulsed in his jaw. His eyes were dark.
He paused, then stepped back and closed his mouth. “You couldn’t handle me if I followed through on my promises, Detective Ness.”
Jayden rolled his eyes, neck clicking as he jerked his head back. “Jesus fucking Christ. What a mess.”
Fang bit his bottom lip, hiding back a smirk. “It could be worse. Detective Loch could be here.”
Fang leaned his head back against the far wall of the prison cell, staring at Jayden through hooded eyes. He was so bulky that he barely fitted on the narrow bunk bed. “Detective.”
“Fang. I know that you know why you’re here.”
A beam of moonlight lit up his bare feet, stretched out lazily across the grey tile floor. Fang’s long toenails curled up into thick, sharp claws. “I think I can probably guess.”
Jayden jangling the keys on his belt nervously. “I can’t let you out until sun up.” His eyes unconsciously drifted to the full moon, just visible through the barred window.
“Well. I suppose you’ll have to keep me entertained until then.” Fang smirked again, tongue flicking out to lick his long, sharp teeth.
Jayden stared at them for a long moment, frozen in place like a rabbit in headlights. There was a part of him – the deep, dark, selkie seal part of him which still longed to hunt and tear and rip at mammals in the shallows of the sea – that imagined Fang’s teeth covered in blood, and liked it. A lot.
Jayden’s radio buzzed. He pulled in a breath, then pressed the button, eyes on Fang, unblinking. “I’ll be right there, Lyra. Over.”
“Get down!” Fang yelled across the warehouse, the words slurred around his teeth. There was blood on his chin, fresh and red and dripping into his stubble.
Jayden ducked as a green flash of spell-work shot over his head. He craned backwards, looking over his shoulder for Lyra. She was running up the stairs. Alone. Safe, for now.
He pushed himself onto his elbows and crawled low across the floor. Fang ripped a warlock’s neck tendon out with a little too much pleasure. Something low in Jayden’s spine gave a twinge in empathy – or longing. It was hard to tell, anymore.
“What are you even doing here?” Jayden hissed. “How did you even find out about this – it’s a secret raid!”
Fang rolled his eyes, using a claw to dig a vein out from between his teeth. “This is my turf. I had to deal with them.”
Jayden grimaced. He could smell the hot tang of blood on Fang’s breath. He pushed down the urge to transform and join him in the rampage.
Fang smiled, somehow knowing and amused all at once. “A thank you would be nice.”
He gestured at the bodies scattered around the warehouse. A whole coven of witches and warlocks had been laid out in a single hour. There was blood everywhere.
Jayden blew out between his teeth. “This is going to be so much fucking paperwork.”
“Well, I’ve got a few ideas for how I can pay you back.” Fang winked at Jayden, and then tilted his head, listening to a scuffle upstairs. Before Jayden could reply, he was off, ready to take down whoever was harassing Lyra.
“I don’t understand why we need to pretend to be mates,” Jayden hissed in Fang’s ear, adjusting his tie. “There, that’s better, love,” he said, at a louder volume.
“For the last time,” Fang said in a low growl that Jayden could feel, vibrating in his chest, through the hands on his tie. “This is a convention for werewolves. If you want to keep your cover, you need a mate. There’s no way they’ll let a selkie walk in without trying to claim you, otherwise.”
“Claim. Werewolves are so archaic. Selkies don’t get claimed anymore. I keep my sealskin in a bank safe, for god’s sake.”
Fang was about to reply, an amused smile crossing his face, when a passing werewolf lady said “Alpha.”
She dipped her head at Fang, then her eyes slid over to Jayden, looking him over with interest. Her nostrils flared.
For all his bravado, something in Jayden’s stomach clenched in fear. His seal was telling him that he was in danger: that she could take him and keep him, in a way his instincts had never warned him about Fang.
Fang immediately tugged Jayden close, one hand curled around his throat, and kissed him. His teeth bit into Jayden’s lower lip.
“If anyone’s going to claim you around here it’s going to be me,” he said, and bit the lobe of Jayden’s ear. “I told you I should have scent-marked you.”
Jayden was going to kill him.
“GET ME BACK IN MY OWN BODY RIGHT THIS INSTANT!” Jayden yelled, furious at how deep and attractive his (Fang’s) voice sounded, despite his fear.
“I’m trying, I’m trying!” Lyra said, flicking quickly through ancient tome after tome.
Jayden’s body was leaning back against the kitchen counter, smirking. From inside, Fang said, “I don’t know. I could get used to this.”
He rolled up Jayden’s – perfectly pressed – sleeves, flexing his bicep. “I didn’t know you’d started working out.”
Jayden folded Fang’s arms, then quickly unfolded them, trying not to think about how thick and bulging and firm they were, pressed up against his toned chest.
“This is all your fault,” he tried to hiss, but the words came out in a sub-vocal growl.
This body shouldn’t be so hot while he was stuck inside it. He pressed Fang’s tongue up against his sharp teeth. A little aching thrill ran through him at the pain.
“You know, my teeth only come down when I’m turned on,” Fang said, semi-casually. Jayden could see his own face pretending to be calm, and was annoyed at how obviously not-calm he actually looked. Did he always look like that?
“Your teeth are always down,” Jayden said dismissively.
Jayden’s eyes stared back at him, unblinkingly. “Yep.”
“SOULMATES!” Lyra said, prodding at a page in glee. “It’s because you’re soulmates! And I can fix it!”2
Jayden rolled his eyes, pressing the phone against his shoulder as he pushed open the police station door, trying to balance three cups of coffee on his arm. “Who answers the phone with their own name? No one. The answer is no one.”
“Who is this? Why are you calling me?”
“Fang, it’s me,” he said, exasperated. “Your boyfriend? Ringing any bells?”
“Do you need something? Because I’m actually in a fairy den right now.”
Jayden stopped in his tracks. “Like, underground? How did you – what did – you know what, I don’t want to know. If you tell me, I’ll have to arrest you. I just wanted to know if you were gonna be home for dinner.”
There was something strained in his voice. Jayden wondered briefly if Fang would actually tell him if he needed rescuing, or just keep talking nonsense forever.
“Okay, well. I’d like to see you, if you can spare the time in your busy, pixie-filled schedule.” Jayden handed Lyra one of the drinks. She nodded an absent-minded thanks at him, eyes on her screen.
“I’ll see what I can do.” There was a pop, like something on Fang’s end had just exploded.
“You know, you’re incredibly hot when you go all mono-syllabic on me.”
“I. Know.” There was a cut-off scream, quickly stifled. “Got to go.”
Fang hung up. Jayden stared at the phone, exasperated. Sometimes he wondered if Fang had ever flirted with anyone in his life, because he had the observation skills of a brick wall.
Er, thanks for that, Rob. The fandom is a better place for your contribution.
Clearly this Entertainment Tonight interviewer did not know what she was getting herself into when she had a quick chat with Rob on the red carpet at a Marvel movie premiere a few months ago:
Interviewer: Have either of you ever read any ‘fanfiction’ about your show?
Rob: [grinning madly] No comment.
Interviewer: Is that a yes?
Rob: Let’s just say I’ve been a fan of the show for a very long time.
Nathan: [whispers] That’s a yes.
Interviewer: Well, I won’t ask any more then. Now, what are you both wearing tonight?
Rob: The suit is Givenchy haute couture, and the cufflinks are Montblanc. With Chelsea boots. I love this suit. I asked the designer for something that made me look like I’d just got off my yacht in the South of France, and they totally came through with the paisley velvet.
Interviewer: It’s very nice. And you, Nathan?
Nathan: Er, a suit? I don’t know the name.
Rob: He’s in Tom Ford. With a pair of my shoes.
Interviewer: Great, thanks so much. Have a lovely evening, both of you.
Rob: What, don’t we get to do the manicure cam? I came prepared. [he waggles his fingers]
Interviewer: You can if you want….
Rob: No, I’m teasing. Have a great night yourself.
An update on that very important address I acquired through devious means: I happened to be ‘driving past’ there today, and I may have punctured my tyre and ended up spending a while waiting for the rescue company.
I was on lookout (for the rescue services) for about three hours. I happened to see Rob pull up in a car and go inside one of the houses with some groceries around 4pm (while I was waiting to get my tyre replaced, you understand).
The jackpot? Nathan was with him.
More on this in the next chapter.