The Pledge Mistress Ch. 21bycaligula97236©
Chapter 21 - Tracy's strategy
After the pledges had slept only four hours, Tracy stormed into the pledge room with her usual:
"OK, sleeping beauties! UP-UP-UP! Let's go...let's go...let's go!"
Lisa was so tired that she had largely forgotten the sympathy she had expressed towards the Pledge Mistress only a few hours before. However, with a groan she got out of her cot and immediately felt the sharp sting of a hard slap on her unprotected backside. What made matters worse was a cold look from Bernadette that clearly stated:
OK, Lisa, so you still feel the same way about this bitch that you did last night?
Because the pledges had upper-body PT with the sophomores, they only had to put on their shoes and socks. It was apparent that Tracy would be leading the exercise group, because she was dressed in the same manner as the pledges, completely naked except her shoes and socks.
As soon as they had used the toilet and brushed their teeth, the sleepy pledges knelt in a row as their mentor strutted back and forth just like an officer from one of those old World War II movies. They were too tired to see the humor in their situation, their sharp-tempered Pledge Mistress moving about as though she were a naked drill sergeant. Momentarily the group would have to go upstairs for morning PT, but Tracy wanted to lay out what was happening during the rest of the day.
"We've got house clean-up today. The whole house, and guess what? The Triple-A's aren't bringing their pledges over like they were supposed to, so it's just us. When I say 'us', I'm including myself, because we just can't be spending the whole day doing the house. I still want to get you guys over to the library to study after lunch, so we need to have the cleaning done before noon. After PT we got a very busy morning ahead of us."
After PT, showering, and breakfast, President Alexandra rounded up the sophomores and juniors for a mandatory sorority trip to the library. The trip served two purposes: first to force everyone to study for at least several hours that weekend, and second, to clear the house so the pledges could clean it more easily. The seniors were not required to go to the library, but they were expected either to leave the house or completely stay out of the common areas.
After she cleaned up, Tracy returned downstairs carrying a clipboard and wearing nothing but pair of work shoes. That surprised the pledges, because she was among the more conservative members of the sorority and normally undressed only for PT and swimming. However, because she was to participate in the house cleaning, she felt that it was necessary to comply with the rule about the pledge uniform, i.e. that while in the house pledges could not wear any clothing.
The Pledge Mistress made it very clear that the only concern on her mind at that moment was doing the clean-up as quickly as possible. She was not interested in having any of the pledges show initiative or memorize anything out of the cleaning manual. Instead she organized the clean-up herself, ordering Lisa and Cherine to clean the bathrooms and sweep upstairs while taking Bernadette and Kathleen outside to do yard work. Tracy immediately pulled out a lawn mower from the tool shed, checked the gas, and began jerking on the cord to get it started. When she noticed the two freshmen staring at her, she snapped:
"Get started on that hedge, unless you want to push this mower around instead of having me do it!"
Lisa looked out a bathroom window to see Tracy behind the mower while Bernadette and Kathleen were working on one of the hedges. She began to wonder if the clean-up had been something the Pledge Mistress had not anticipated, something thrust upon her at the last minute. Were that true, was it possible it was Heather who had ordered Tracy to clean up the house? Was it possible that the promised help from the male pledges had been canceled because Heather had told the fraternity not to bring the guys over?
Bernadette's hostility towards Tracy was tempered by seeing her at work in the yard. Tracy took all of the most difficult jobs for herself, because she was the one who edged after mowing and then dealt with chlorinating the pool. As the two freshmen finished their trimming, Tracy came by with a bag and rake to clean up, while ordering the two younger women to get started on the kitchen. Bernadette noticed Tracy sweating as she worked, a detail that motivated her to work harder once she went inside.
As Tracy scrubbed down the garden furniture, the pledges finished up the kitchen under Lisa's direction. Tracy took out a ladder and yelled at Kathleen to hold it while she hosed the windows. Lisa snapped at her two remaining companions to "keep moving". Bernadette glanced out the window at the frantic Pledge Mistress.
"What's going on with her? Why's she gone off the deep end with this clean-up?"
"We weren't supposed to be doing this, that's why. The Triple-A's were supposed to have their pledges come over, and guess what? They're not here, and that's messed up her plans for us. She wanted to take us to the library this morning so we could look around, and she's still trying to make sure we can get over there today. That's why she's gone off the deep end, as you say it! Now, you move your ass so we can get out of here!"
Incredibly, after only three hours, the training group had the entire house cleaned to inspection standards. While the freshmen showered, Tracy and Lisa conducted the walk-through and corrected a few minor deficiencies. Tracy signed the cleaning log and ordered Lisa to get her companions dressed into their uniforms and ready to "move out!"
Lisa noticed Tracy seemed to calm down considerably once the group was safely in the library. The freshmen had expected to be told to study, but Tracy passed out lists of books she wanted them to find and bring to her. The books covered every topic imaginable and came from every single shelf in the building. As soon as the pledges presented the books to her, Tracy ordered her charges to return to where they got the items and reshelf them. At first the exercise seemed extremely stupid, but the pledges later realized that Tracy wanted them to memorize how the library's entire collection was organized. For example, if they needed to find a book about pig farming, they would know that the agronomy books were located on the third floor on shelves 3-H through 3-J.
Already it was late afternoon when the women left the library. The next stop was the Student Memorial Center. The pledges had some juice and fruit salad before being ordered to explore the building. They had a very good piece of fortune when they came across an alumnus guide leading a group of parents through the center. The pledges joined the group and received a guided tour, complete with trivia and explanations about the building and its history.
The final stop was the University Fitness Center. The five women signed in and toured the weight rooms, squash courts, and aerobics rooms. Tracy actually ordered her group to do a round of exercises on all the machines, passed out fresh T-shirts and towels, and directed the pledges to go into the women's locker room and shower. All the while Lisa noticed her looking around, as though worried about who might be watching what she was doing.
Just before the sun began to set, Tracy led her group through Old Campus to let her pledges see the same area during the day that they had seen the previous night. As dusk settled and the university got darker, the women continued walking around to see how the area compared during daylight and when it was dark. They finished around midnight. When they finally left campus to return to the sorority house, Lisa and her companions had memorized in detail the area set aside for the scavenger hunt the following night.
The group walked along the detour that by-passed Pageant Street and Fraternity Row. As they approached the park where they had changed the previous night, Tracy frantically whispered:
"Behind the bushes! Quick!"
The five women hid just in time to hear Heather's voice coming up the sidewalk, accompanied by the sound of a man's voice crying and the crack-crack-crack of a leather riding crop hitting bare skin.
"Come-on, you fucking little wimp!"
"Don't you 'please' me, you pathetic little shit! Now, keep running! The next time you stop without my permission, it'd better because you're having a fucking heart attack!"
"Here! In the park! Let's give your legs a rest and have you do some push-ups!"
While Tracy and her group held their breaths and watched from the darkness, Heather forced the fattest member of the Tri-Alpha pledge group to struggle through several sets of pushups. He seemed already knocked out from his exertions, his sweaty naked body trembling from fright and fatigue as she continued to savagely flog him with the riding crop. Lisa noticed one interesting detail about the pledge: that he was somewhat thinner than he had been the previous week.
Heather forced her unhappy companion to exercise until he was barely able to move. As he lay on his back gasping for air, the Four-Beta Sergeant-at-Arms astounded her hidden audience by pulling off her running shorts and squatting to piss in the grass, right in front of prostrate victim. In the darkness the pledges could tell that he was watching her with alarm. Apparently he knew what was coming next and what would be expected of him momentarily.
"OK, fat-bitch, you know the drill. Get on your knees. Clean me up and make me come!"
Heather placed her shorts on the ground under her bottom and lay back in the grass with her legs spread. The male pledge obediently moved between her thighs and began licking, first to properly clean the sweat and urine off her vulva, and then to give her an orgasm. She came very quickly. It was obvious the orgasm was no big deal to her; that its main purpose was to establish her dominance over him as opposed to giving her real pleasure. She climaxed, casually put on her shorts, and stood up. She savagely struck him across the thigh.
"OK, blubber-boy! UP! Let's see about running some more of that fat off of you!"
She slammed the riding crop against his bare bottom a couple of times as they exited the park. Lisa heard Cherine comment:
"Jesus H...he isn't that fat..."
Tracy drew a deep breath, partly out of relief that her group had not been caught by the Sergeant-at-Arms, but mostly from the distress that her pledges had seen something she wished they had not seen.
Once the Pledge Mistress was sure that Heather and her victim were out of ear-shot, she shouted:
"OK, Let's move out! Quick step, move!"
As the pledges began running, Tracy's voice barked out:
Following Bernadette's lead, the women started clapping and chanting:
"Runnin' that midnight Four-Beta left!"
"Runnin' that midnight Four-Beta left..."
The pledges returned to their cots and collapsed from exhaustion. They were not at all reassured by what had happened to them that day, nor by the knowledge that apparently Tracy did not fully trust the other officers of the sorority.
Bernadette in particular was very uneasy over what she had seen. She now suspected what Lisa already knew: that there was a rivalry or on-going fight between Tracy and Heather and that the Sergeant-at-Arms was not supportive of the Pledge Mistress. Bernadette's dislike of Tracy had led her to wonder how she could side with Heather and perhaps ingratiate herself at the expense of Lisa and Tracy. Her hatred of the Pledge Mistress had led her to assume that anyone plotting against Tracy could count on her support, that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". However, watching Heather's treatment of that male pledge in the park frightened Bernadette and made her question whether Tracy was really as bad as she had assumed.
Bernadette glanced at Lisa. She disliked Lisa almost as much as she disliked Tracy. She continued to resent Lisa's role as the "leader" of the pledge group and her apparently close relationship with the Pledge Mistress. On top of everything else she resented Lisa's sexual relationship with Kathleen. Not only did she think the relationship was inappropriate, but the very idea of being intimate with another woman totally grossed her out. And especially with Kathleen...Yuck! Why would anyone normal even want someone like that around, let alone...get intimate with her...Gross! Totally gross!
Bernadette was not at all thrilled about having to pledge alongside Kathleen, who she found very weird and gave her the creeps. She took a deep breath as she contemplated her dislike of the skinny girl sleeping next to her. Bernadette had known a couple of girls like Kathleen in high-school, whose fidgety gestures, shifty eyes, nervous way of talking, ignorance of fashion, and interest in things not normal for high school students made them total social rejects. Were it up to Bernadette, no one in the Four-Beta pledge program would have been nice to Kathleen. Instead, the group would have cold-shouldered her and let her know that she was not welcome in the sorority. The only reason she had not dared to express her dislike of her strange companion was because she had been afraid of Lisa and Tracy coming down on her.
Bernadette sat up in the darkness, as her assumptions about life, what constituted a worthwhile friend, and how she should deal with the people around her abruptly shifted under her. Suddenly she felt awful, because in a flash she understood that her hostility towards Kathleen was totally unjustified. Why did she dislike her fellow pledge so much? Yes, the girl was kind of creepy, but had she ever done anything bad to anyone else in the pledge group? It was obvious she had feelings, and that she had already endured more than her share of unpleasantness in life. It was obvious that she had endured a hellish time in school, at the hands of girls just like Bernadette. She always had taken it for granted that people like Kathleen deserved whatever ostracism and insults were inflicted on them because they were so creepy, but was that really true?
Bernadette's thoughts drifted to her own recent years in high school, and then back to the present. She realized that how she had behaved in school was not something she should be proud of, and anyhow, her time in high school no longer had any relevance. As much as she hated to admit it, she was in a new environment and starting her social life from scratch. She now was an adult and in college. Her old peer group had scattered and her life had changed. She would have to learn how to relate to others differently if she hoped to move ahead. Really, who was Bernadette to judge someone like Kathleen? Or even to judge Lisa, for that matter?
Bernadette felt that her need to change was especially true regarding her perception of Lisa. Whatever her personal faults, it was obvious that Lisa was trustworthy, not particularly selfish, and that her primary interest was getting herself and the others through the pledging process. Bernadette's thoughts drifted back to that first night at the Tri-Alpha house, when Lisa had jumped to her defense when the others were blaming her for making the group get punished. From the first night Lisa had pointed out something that later proved correct, that the pledges' willingness to stay together and stand up for each other would be constantly tested. Lisa had been right about that, and since that first night had been right about many other things.
What if Lisa was right about Tracy; that of all the sorority officers, the Pledge Mistress really was the only one who was concerned about the pledges? The truth was that Bernadette knew what to expect from Lisa and Tracy, but did not have a clue about Heather's personality or how trustworthy she really was. What she did know, from having seen it with her own eyes, was that Heather was capable of being vicious. She wondered: would I really want someone like that as my friend?
Finally Bernadette lay back down with a better understanding of her immediate future and how she had to change her perceptions about her social life. She did not think she would ever feel any warmth towards Lisa and Kathleen. However, she knew that even if she could not force herself to like them, she needed to treat them with the respect. She might dislike the Pledge Mistress even more than Lisa, but now understood that she could not possibly do herself or anyone else any good by taking sides against her. She had to accept Tracy's leadership if she hoped to stay in the sorority and be a successful member.
Bernadette finally went to sleep. She did not yet realize, during those few restless moments she took a hard look at herself; that she had matured considerably.
Pledge Mistress Tracy had two concerns on her mind for that Sunday. First, the pledges had to spend a good portion of the day studying, given that they had not spent any time studying on Saturday. Second, they would have to get some sleep during the day so they could be alert during the scavenger hunt. She decided that it would be best to have the pledges spend the day outside the Four-Beta house and began to wonder where she could find a quiet location where they could study and sleep.
There were only two locations she could think of that would meet the group's needs. For studying the pledges could go to Burnside's office in the Economics Building. That was fine, but what about sleep? There was a place that at first glance looked promising, Lisa's dorm room in Huntington Hall. Although Lisa was not allowed to stay there during the pledge training, she still had her stuff there and in theory access to the room. Would it not be possible to grab some sleeping bags and have the pledges crash there?
Tracy then thought of a better option: Ruth Burnside's house. Burnside's house would be about as secret a location as she would be able to find; a quiet and controlled environment where the pledges could sleep uninterrupted until nightfall. Tracy then would take them back to the sorority house, producing her group well-rested and ready for action. She decided to e-mail Burnside and see if the professor was amenable to the idea of putting up the pledges in her house Sunday afternoon.
Burnside shocked Tracy by responding immediately. It already was 1:00 in the morning, but the insomniac professor was still on her computer catching up on her professional correspondence. Her answer relieved Tracy: that she could take the pledges over and keep them at the house all day. The only problem was that Burnside had to leave at 5:00 in the morning to go on a day-long boating trip on Lake Michigan with Halsey and some of their mutual friends. The pledges were welcome to stay at the house, but Tracy either needed to pick up a key or bring them over before 5:00. Tracy opted for the latter. She would have the pledges at Burnside's house at 4:45.
Tracy decided to make the pledges walk over to the professor's house, which meant getting them up at 3:30 a.m. She decided to do something else to psychologically prepare them for the scavenger hunt; they would have to walk from the sorority to Burnside's house in the nude. Tracy figured there would be very little danger walking the four-mile route, given that the bars already had closed and it was extremely unlikely they would run into anyone walking in the dark at 4:00 in the morning. Upon getting to Burnside's house she would order the group to go to sleep and then return to the sorority house to pick up their clothes and textbooks.
At 3:30 a.m. the light in the basement went on and the pledges heard Tracy's dreaded: