Chapter 12 – An Explanation for the Drama

@gottiewrites 24/09/18

I left a comment on my last chapter, a little prematurely, asking for help. I’m sorry if I upset any of you. I really did need help. I was going to avoid mentioning this, but I can’t just not give you an explanation after my comment yesterday. So here is a very condensed version of what happened last night.

Yesterday morning, I saw Rob and Nathan leave their house with suitcases, and assumed they were going away for the night. I decided to use the opportunity to sneak inside. I thought that if the house was empty, I could come back after dark and get in without any problems. Then I’d see if I could find out any more about the visa issues, and prove they’re dating. That was all I was planning to do, I promise. Just have a quick look around and then leave. I wasn’t going to take anything, move anything, do anything at all.

It was a huge mistake. Obviously.

I got inside by squeezing through a half-open window at the back. There’s a porch roof that extends close enough that I could get inside. The house itself is kind of bland – they’ve not been living there long enough to have decorated much.

There were some framed promotional Loch & Ness posters on the upstairs landing, but not much else. I started by looking around the office. There were some bills and papers, and a script for one of the new episodes of Loch & Ness, with notes in the margins in Rob’s handwriting. There were some documents for Nathan’s visa application too, but they must have been the expired versions, because they were cut up into pieces in the garbage.

There were framed pages from a fanzine on the wall, hand-typed on yellowing paper. I took a photo and transcribed them – see the footnote at the end.1 I think they might have been written by Rob’s dad back in the seventies.

milky way.jpg

Then I opened one of the desk drawers and found a laptop. I was completely thrown off my guard here, because it wasn’t just any laptop.

It was my laptop.

The one that was stolen from my room last week. It had the same stickers on the battered case – Loch & Ness’ magical police department crest, ‘I Am Groot’, ‘Sorry Baby x’ from Killing Eve – it was definitely my laptop.2

I just stared at it for the longest time, unable to believe what I was really seeing. It was so unexpected that it felt like, I don’t know – a break in the matrix? A dream? A weird self-insert fantasy?

For a start, I couldn’t understand what it was doing in Rob Henning’s office drawer – or why he would ever want it. I’ve had chance to think about it since then, and I’ve worked out that he must have been the one to steal it from my house.

If Rob took my laptop, that must mean that he wanted me to stop posting this blog.

Which means two things.

  • He’s really dating Nathan


  • He really is @silentwakes, and for some reason he really doesn’t want me posting any more information about the shady business he was doing online.

I don’t know if you will agree with this, but surely he wouldn’t have stolen my laptop just to stop me from posting about his relationship? That’s a pretty major step to take.

So, I’m a bit stumped about what he’s so desperate to hide. It must be something really huge if he’s going to so much trouble to conceal it. I’m clearly getting close to a big revelation here.

I didn’t have time to work all this out while I was there, of course, but I was still shocked. I must have stopped paying attention to my surroundings, because I was getting the laptop out of the desk drawer when I heard a noise out in the hall. Someone had come home. I’d been too stunned and distracted to even notice.

I grabbed the laptop and scrambled under the desk, out of sight. I had seen Rob and Nathan leave the house with suitcases that morning, so I’d thought I’d have the house to myself. I hadn’t even made a plan for what to do if this happened. I just held still and held my breath.

Rob opened the office door and came in. He sat down at the desk and turned on his desktop. I shuffled right up against the wall, so his knees didn’t knock into me.

I was trapped there. If I made a single noise, he would have discovered me. That’s why I posted that comment, asking someone to call for a pizza. I wanted the door to ring so I’d have chance to sneak out of the window.

Rob left the room after a while, and I heard him talking to Nathan out in the hall. I took the opportunity to escape out of the window and get the hell out of there.

And that’s it. Nothing else happened. I didn’t even get a chance to look for the bedrooms, to see if they share a bed.

– margot


1. Transcript of the fanzine on the wall:

T H E  M I L K Y  W A Y  D I S P A T C H

January/February 1978                       Issue 3 Volume II


From The Staff:

Dear members,

A very exciting thing happened this month! I met my favourite author! I had to retype this issue on my typewriter at the last minute, before I took it to the library to be photocopied, because I just HAD to share the news!

Also, I’m sorry that this issue is a few weeks late – I’ve been applying for university. I’ve my heart set on Harvard, like my father. I hope the content of this issue makes up for the lateness. It’s chock-full of interesting news.

– Jack Hennings, editor


The actors of ‘STAR WALK’ are holding a telethon to raise funds for the Red Cross on Saturday 11th March. If you’d like to donate, call the number overleaf to get a chance to talk to one of them!

This issue contains three whole pages of ‘fan fiction’, a word used by my fellow editor, Justine, to describe the stories and poems you’ve been sending in to us, inspired by your favourite sci-fi. She discusses the term in her essay ‘DEDICATED FAN CREATIONS’, overleaf.

     Convention dates:

     March 7 – 9: Starship Space, Hilton, San Francisco

     June 30 – July 2: Grand Slam Sci-fi, Plaza Place, Denver

Pen Pal News:

Elisa in Florida has transcribed a scene from S3 E4 of ‘GENERATION OMEGA’ from her VHS recording for Horace, who requested a search be put out for it in Issue 1. The full dialogue can be found overleaf. She has offered access to her garage to anyone visiting the state, where she has a collection of over four hundred VHS tapes of various sci-fi shows recorded from their TV broadcasts over the years. She says people are welcome to make copies if they bring their own VHS tapes, or she’s happy to let you listen on the phone to specific episodes so that you can write down the dialogue. You can call her on the number overleaf between 7 and 9 on Sundays. Thanks, Elisa!

We also had a letter from the main actor on ‘DESTINATION: MARS’, Edgar Stiles, who thanked us for sending the book of letters from fans. He was very pleased by our kind write-up of their season finale, and said ‘I have been a subscriber to your lovely newsletter since June, and it never fails to make me smile.’ Thank you so much, Edgar! Please write back to let us know how the filming on the new series proceeds.

Congratulations to Mark for his new job working for the BBC. He has promised to provide photocopies of promotional material for several of their sci-fi shows, which I will include in an upcoming issue. Hurray for Mark!

To ‘The Quarterly Quest’, a zine running out of Liverpool, UK – a dear friend has informed us of the disapproving comments in your November/December 1977 issue regarding our content. In particular, QQ had concerns about a short story written about two male characters in the last series of ‘STAR WALK’. The editors thought that the story implied the characters were in a romantic relationship with each other.

I was not aware of this subtext when I read the story, however, I have discussed it with the writer and my co-editor and we have decided not to withdraw the story. It’s incredibly well written, and none of us have an issue with the content.

QQ, if you have a problem with the inclusion of this kind of story in our newsletter, we would prefer if you take it up with us personally, instead of airing your grievances in a public setting. Your attitude shows a startling amount of pettiness, and we are disappointed on behalf of your (admittedly, very few) subscribers. Please let them know they will find a more open-minded home here at The Milky Way Dispatch.

Any future submissions for the zine can be sent to the address overleaf. All will be considered within 6 weeks. Illustrations, reviews and prose are welcome, as is romance of all types.


If you would like to renew your subscription to this zine, please send $5 to the address overleaf, along with a stamped addressed envelope and the form below:

Name:____________________ Address:______________________________________________

Do you create anything related to sci-fi?

I write □ draw □ perform □ photograph □

That’s the full zine. We did already know that Rob’s dad was involved in fandom – see this Twitter exchange from August:

@Rob_Hennings My dad was an old school sci-fi fan. I got the nerdy gene from him, as well as the fighting one – I’ve been involved in more than a few fandom flame wars over the years myself, just like he was! I once caught someone plagiarising fic from an old space opera. Dad used to make these lithograthic zines though, way more arty than me.

@Rob_Hennings For everyone asking, I spoke to Dad and asked him what he’d call a Loch & Ness zine if he was going to create one today. He said ‘The Paranormal Press’. Get that tumblr URL saved, stat.

@Rob_Hennings By the way, I showed @Nathan_ODonnell some of his old zines and he didn’t understand any of it, up to and including the word ‘fic’. He tries his best, but it’s just not in his genetic make-up like me.

I want to note that according to the zine above, Rob’s father is pro-gay, unlike the homophobic, unwelcoming parent that @silentwakes made him out to be during his desperate LiveJournal plea for donations, which he needed so that he could leave home. I hope Jack never found out about what Rob said about him online, because judging by the person I see in this zine, he would be devastated. This is one of the few cases where I just can’t find it in me to side with Rob, however much I would like to.


Comments (3990)

Anonymous absolutely baffled at the stupidity it takes to….post about this online…..

lilithfatale write a statement admitting to a crime? Gottie? more likely than you think.

gottiewrites Guys he’s not gonna go to the police about me. he HAD MY LAPTOP. he can’t come after me for b&e because I’d be able to turn it right back around on him. And don’t @ me about this essay being evidence. This is just a story for fun, right? nothing real, look away feds, I’m just a silly dumb fangirl making stuff up to get more likes!

jamiebmaher *stares directly into the camera*

motherteresaVEVO anyone else absolutely BUCKWILD for gottie’s sense of drama? Her panache? Her completely tomfoolery? Exquisite.

Anonymous I’m calling this into the police. the essay was kind of fun but this is literally breaking and entering, if any of this is real she deserves to go to prison

littlehucks I’ve reported it to the LAPD too.

Anonymous anyone wanna bet she made up the part about her laptop being there just so she could brag about going inside their house? I bet she didn’t expect to even be called out about the stolen laptop story when she was trying to grift us all for donations, and this is supposed to ‘prove’ it really happened or something


Actioncomics okay. I don’t necessarily believe she deserves the courtesy, but lets address her claims logically. Here’s an abridged list of other reasons rob could have gottie’s laptop, all of which make more sense than him wanting to stop this essay being posted:

      1. he bought a second-hand refurbished laptop that happened to be the one stolen by some thief from gottie’s house
      2. It’s really his laptop and she mistook it for hers in the moment because she was under stress and panicking
      3. gottie’s parents (presumably she has parents?? Not that anyone seems to be reining her in here) gave the laptop away in a last-ditch attempt to stop her doing all this shit online, and it ended up online (as above)
      4. gottie sent him her laptop her own god-damned self as a sign of her true devotion to him as a LEGIT CELEBRITY. She wanted him to know that she saw the Real Him
      5. its all just lies. Obviously.

Anonymous Great work on this essay, you’ve worked so hard. I wanted to share the following – I work in an LA library, and Hennings came in the other day. He said that he’s just been cast in a new pilot for a show about a lawyer, and the role is very meaty, apparently. He borrowed some books on law, which he said were research for the role. Apparently they’ve also asked him to do some consulting work on the show, because he has a background in law I think? Anyway, he said they needed help with creating the props – documents for the screens and the tables used in the shots and stuff like that. It sounds really cool, and I thought you’d be interested!

Here’s my receipt, so you know that this is true. It’s a log of the law books he borrowed, with library barcodes and loan return dates, etc. I got it off the system and obscured a few details for my own safety.

This is anonymous, for obvious reasons.


Jonathannorrell I found gottie’s facebook – Margot Garcia from California. She was tagged in a photo at the beach last weekend by her aunt I think (someone with the same surname, anyway).


She was invited to a baby’s Christening happening next week in LA. She’s seventeen. Here’s a conversation she had with her sister and Mom in the comments of a post at the start of the month, which matches up with an anecdote about giving her a baby gerbil as a stud for breeding for her birthday:


Margot Garcia Delia Garcia Happy birthday, sis!

Delia Garcia Thanks for the sperm donor

Abigail Garcia why do you insist on describing it like that, delia? your grandma sees this!

Margot Garcia loosen up mom everything on facebook is fake news these days, remember. Delia’s sperm is no one else’s concern but hers.

Delia Garcia yeah!!!! what she said!

Abigail Garcia I hate you both. Come and get your dinner.

Anonymous unsubscribed. This has been a fun ride while it lasted but this is a step too much for me lol

Anonymous are you kIDDING? I’m on tenterhooks. You couldn’t make me leave now at gunpoint. This is the best thing I’ve ever seen! She’s ruining her own life!

wonderfullybookish the r/conspiracy theory thread about gottie is going absolutely mental. Every time I refresh there are another 400 comments

final coverChapter 11 | Contents pageGoodreads | Chapter 13 >

Gottie is a fangirl for Loch & Ness, a TV show about paranormal detectives. She’s convinced that two of the male actors are secretly dating, and she’ll stop at nothing to prove it. When her online investigations accidentally uncover far more than she expects, she becomes complicit in secrets beyond just a romantic conspiracy theory.

An internet thriller told in a ‘true crime’ style recollection of events, the novel includes social media extracts such as modern Tumblr posts and early-noughties LiveJournal blog entries.

More information | Support on Patreon | Discuss theories on Discord | Leave a tip on Ko-fi


7 thoughts on “Chapter 12 – An Explanation for the Drama

  1. for a moment there my mind went: “oh god she’s been dead all along, she took smb else’s identity after death”, which pretty much sums up how much i believe everything is possible as this develops


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