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Author Topic: Story: A Test of Metal  (Read 5023 times)

Offline Tin_Grin8444

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Story: A Test of Metal
« on: 27. December 2020, 13:06:44 PM »
[Chapter 1] ;)

Just like Mom said, there was no shortage of bright-eyed young women adorned in form fitting blue polos and large enamel pins bearing a unique logo, one resembling the profile view of a woman with a horizontal line starting at her lips and darting into where her "mouth" would be. The minimalist logo might have appeared odd to anyone unfamiliar with Psi Sigma Nu's peculiar history, and it certainly set itself apart from the logos of other recruiters. I decided to indulge the perky soror who wasted no time meeting me at the archway entrance of the quad. She introduced herself, no doubt proud she was the first to bid an expected legacy.

"YOU MUST BE SOPHIA!! I'm Madeline! Please follow me!"

The perky brunette led me through the quad past countless booths populated by boisterous recruiters blasting music and handing out shirts. She strode with her clipboard firmly to her side with the confidence of an empress, only halting to look back as I was forced to stop and wipe the liquid soap stuck to my glasses by a stray bubble cannon atop the Movie Club booth. Upon entering the Student Union, I'm dragged through cold hallways lined with classical furniture and countless awards covered in thin layers of dust, sealed in display cases, straight past a number of doorways to one guarded by two more polo clad members, who, with a nod, unhooked a rope blocking a private auditorium that dazzled me with its intricate workmanship in the woodwork of each and every chair, to the proscenium stage that curved and flowed so naturally at its edge. I thank Madeline as I walk closer to the first row of chairs, already populated by cadres of young women, all very anxious to be here, but some more nervous than others.

As I wait for the Informational to officially begin, I swipe through Mom's texts, instructing me on how best to handle the initiation, and how to land the position I had in my sights. While Psi Sigma Nu was most certainly unconventional in its initiation rituals, and required an odd assortment of pari, I had no doubt that more than half of the women around me knew it was absolutely worth every second for the opportunities offered by this strange sorority. Connections to upper echelons of every stronghold industry in the country were boasted to the few academically elite who qualified. You had an even easier time if you had family that were members. Having met the academic requirements along with my mother's membership, my acceptance was guaranteed. Getting in was gonna be the easy part. Getting what I wanted was gonna be harder.

The coveted role of Vice President was chief among those available to first years, and was locked behind a strange trial that both attracted brave souls and struck fear into countless initiates. It was a test of metal.

Online jonjon

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #1 on: 27. December 2020, 15:27:25 PM »
Good start im intrigued to read more keep up the good work

Offline Boheme

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #2 on: 27. December 2020, 16:56:45 PM »
Great start! I can't wait for more.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #3 on: 27. December 2020, 17:11:00 PM »
Thank you for giving it a title and a big thank you for adding a chapter heading to it.

I will be adding it to TheArchive as soon as I have a chance if you don't mind me doing so. It is always nice to see new people writing stories and I personally enjoy seeing where each writer takes us. Those of us who have written many stories tend to fall into a rut when writing and I find that new writers help to get me out of it with their fresh ideas.

Braceface2015
TheArchive2018

Offline Tin_Grin8444

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #4 on: 28. December 2020, 05:06:16 AM »
[Chapter 2] ;D

The informational begins with the sorority's president taking the stage to the tune of enthusiastic cheers and applause. She dwarfs the other members around her in height as she makes her way to an ornate wooden podium seemingly too short for her. Her strawberry blonde ponytail sways and bounces as she walks, whisking back and forth along the shoulders of her cobalt blazer, its lapel sporting a larger enamel pin bearing the sorority's logo, accompanied by another pin resembling a debater's gavel. She shakes the hands of the other women on stage before reaching the microphone atop the podium.

"Welcome, everyone! My name is Caroline Richardson, and I am the President of Psi Sigma Nu! I'm pleased you all could join us today, and I'll begin by allowing initiates wanting to compete for Vice President to make their way towards our secretary, McKenzie, to receive your contracts!"

She motions towards an exit near stage right where a shorter woman sporting a blue polo raises her hand.

I rise from my seat making my way towards her as I'm joined by a third of the audience, each of us lining up as McKenzie leads us to a smaller room. Our exit is played out to the tune of murmurs and scattered cheers.

As we enter what looks to be a lobby, the line dissipates as a cadre of more women in blue polos hand out contracts to each of us. A shorter member with glasses and a full set of braces grins endearingly as she hands me my copy with a "Good luck!"  ;D

After thanking her, I take a seat near a table along the left side of the room near four other initiates. Their brows furled as they began skimming over their copies. An older woman in full suit enters to begin explaining the trial.

"Welcome, First-years! I am Dr. Ashley. I'd like your attention before any of you begin to sign your contracts. If you're here, it's because you want a chance at our coveted role of Vice President. You all should know by now, that unlike most sororities and fraternities, Psi Sigma Nu does not decide it's Vice President via election. To compete for the position, each of you will participate in a special trial as old as the university itself. Once you've signed your contracts, you will each be provided with a speech inhibitor. This will equip you with a considerable lisp, and make speaking very difficult. Each of you will where this speech inhibitor as you are shown various orthodontic appliances at random, ranging from Herbst appliances, to twin blocks, to tongue cribs, and every kind of headgear. At the end of the trial, each of you will be required to undergo orthodontic treatment, starting out with a full set of metal braces, accompanied by every appliance you failed to correctly name during the trial."

Silence strangled the room, only yielding to the growing ticks of a nearby clock. She continued.

"Worry not my dears! Participants that do not succeed in acquiring the role of Vice President will only be required to wear all of their additional appliances for their entire first year of classes, with the exception of continued use of appliances that are deemed necessary for individual cases by our team of orthodontists. The Vice president, however, will be required to have her appliances permanently locked into her mouth for the duration of her stay at this esteemed University."

Two girls quickly exited the room, leaving only 12 of us to compete.

"You will all stand atop the stage in the auditorium, each with a podium equipped with two buttons, one green, and one red. Your green button is a 'Pass'. If you are shown an appliance you are unfamiliar with, or you don't believe you can pronounce it's name, hitting your green button will pass your appliance to girl left of you, and she will have to attempt it. If an appliance is passed to you, you will not be able to use your green button to pass it yourself. You only get one Pass."

Dr. Ashley smirked.

"Your red button forfeits you from the trial, and you will not have to compete for any longer once you've pressed it. Though you all should do well to remember, that anyone who presses their red button to forfeit will still be required to wear the appliances she fails to correctly name during the trial up until that point, for the entirety of her first year. The only incentive of your red button, is that you may decide when you are out. The last remaining first year in the trial is awarded the role of Vice President. Would anyone else like to leave?"

I see my determination mirrored in the women around me. Some even begin signing their contracts. A smile blooms across Dr. Ashley's face.

"Wonderful! I admire your conviction."

Offline panda777

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #5 on: 28. December 2020, 08:13:29 AM »
Ooh, this one's creative! Can't wait to see what happens the the protagonist, and I get the feeling we may be seeing some unique appliances...

Online jonjon

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #6 on: 28. December 2020, 14:43:17 PM »
Its getting good i think this storys got real promise I agree with panda777 I think we are going to fet to enjoy some truly unusual appliances can't wait

Offline carking

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #7 on: 28. December 2020, 17:18:06 PM »
Wow, this is great! I'd love to try out for a frat that did that!

Offline Tin_Grin8444

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #8 on: 30. December 2020, 11:02:56 AM »
[Chapter 3]  ;)


After signing the last page of my stack, I follow three other girls towards the end of the lobby where Dr. Ashley sat with her chin resting atop her hands knit together, a posh grin still lingering.

"Once you've signed your contract, you will be assessed for your speech inhibitor. Once your inhibitor has been properly installed and approved, you will wait for the other girls to finish. Once everyone has their speech inhibitors equipped, we will take to the stage to begin the trial!"

A few girls grow anxious at the mention of the stage. Not only will University Heads be present to officiate the trial, but however many students are interested enough to spectate. No doubt this news would shake the confidence of a few fellow first years.

As the first girl marches up to the table where Dr. Ashley and two more members are seated, she quickly hands in her contract, likely eager to get the speech inhibitor installed ahead of as many of us as she can, since extra time practicing with the appliance already in her mouth could spell an advantage, a strategy mimicked by the two other girls behind her. Upon being instructed to open her mouth, she complies. After studying her mouth, Dr. Ashley gives the girl to her right a number, and the eager first year is motioned to the next room. This same process is repeated with the next two girls in front of me, while more begin to line up behind. As the third girl exits after receiving a "seven" from Dr. Ashley, I calmly hand my contract to the member sitting to the left. Dr. Ashley's eyes perk up after a brief beat.


"Oh! You must be Sophia! I knew your grandmother, Esther. My, you're a dead ringer, glasses and all! You know, she was Vice president when I first joined. Why even your mother was a member! I'm certain you must have a unique understanding of the innerworkings of this trial.  ;)"

"I certainly do. Thank you!"

"Now, let's see you open that mouth for me..."

I did as she instructed, allowing a small flashlight to be shined at me as my mouth is awkwardly examined.

"Just like your mother, a four!" She giggles.


I'm led into the next room with a smile as I'm placed next to a chair occupied by the third girl, who's now wearing a type of harness with her hair in a high ponytail. I notice another chair where the second girl is getting up to exit into the hallway. A woman in glasses and a mask waves me over to take a seat. My hair already up, she takes my "four" from another girl in a blue polo, before she has me open to confirm the number assigned.

"Hmm... I guess that's four. A little small though."

She reaches for a pristine box sat next to her, producing what resembles two mouth trays, one for each jaw, both connected by 3 piston arms on each side. The pistons are springed, the arms held tightly closed by what looks like rubber bands on the outside of the two trays connected by hooks. Towards the back of the trays on either side are bulky sections of plastic and rubber, that when together, resemble the anchor of a ship. Atop the upper tray and stuck beneath the bottom were globs of a purple substance that looked to be rubbery. There looks to be a metallic mass held between the two trays, but before I can further study it the woman places a gloved hand beneath my chin, instructing me to open as wide as I can. I obediently do so, as she gently guides and wiggles the speech inhibitor into its intended destination, lining my tongue with a hole between the trays. Even with my mouth open as wide as I could manage, the woman had to hold the back of my neck as she forced what had to be the bulky plastic and rubber sections past my molars, where upon barely squeezing past, sat comfortably. After the appliance was in place, I was made to bite down into the purple goop, creating a strange sensation as the substance slinked it's way through and around my teeth to fill my cheeks. In a flash she produces the same harness the second and third girl were wearing, a beige mess of rubber straps and leather. The harness is quickly shoved over my head, and I feel my ponytail gently pulled through an opening as the straps of the harness are tightened. Every inch of leather and rubber is now securely held to my head, neck and jaws.

"That's a good girl. Now try to smile so we can remove the excess."

I obey as she uses a small tool to carefully pick and pull away the extra purple moosh that filled my cheeks. She then produces small blue light and maneuvers it around my teeth, most of them still covered in a violet residue. After a few seconds, she takes a small pair of scissors to the rubber bands holding the springs together, and upon snipping them, pressure begins to build as I gain more freedom to move my jaw.

I find my tongue still confined, and I'm unable to move my jaw from side to side. My mouth feels restricted and full. As I try to close again, I find that angled sections of thick plastic along where the trays meet prevent my mouth from closing comfortably, as where one section sits, another part slides and moves, preventing my jaws from meeting in any way that's comfortable or stable, like it doesn't want my mouth to close. Before I can feel more of what's been installed, my thoughts are interrupted by the masked woman.

"Alright Sweety, you're good to go! Remember, don't try to take the inhibitor out. You'll only hurt yourself. If you'd like to try speaking before you the trial starts, now is the time. You can head out into the hallway and wait for everyone else. Good luck! Next!"

Offline Boheme

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #9 on: 30. December 2020, 17:20:49 PM »
I was in a sorority and I don't know if I would pass this.. ;D

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #10 on: 30. December 2020, 18:33:44 PM »
I've added the latest chapter to TheArchive.

This is getting good. I am looking forward to reading more of our story.

Braceface2015

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #11 on: 30. December 2020, 23:02:57 PM »
For us Brits, the whole concept of a Sorority is completely alien!

At a UK university, you either live in a "Hall of Residence" with many other students (typically several hundred) grouped in 'flats' of 5 to 10 people , or you live in some sort of shared house / room in a house. Yes, the "Hall of Residence" has a social side, but I don't think it equates to the Sorority system of the US.

Offline prahm

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #12 on: 05. January 2021, 18:39:52 PM »
My sorority was definitely not this creative. Looking forward to the rest

Offline Jock1

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #13 on: 06. January 2021, 22:58:23 PM »
Brilliant story, I’m looking forward to the next chapter.

Offline Tin_Grin8444

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Re: Story: A Test of Metal
« Reply #14 on: 07. January 2021, 14:08:16 PM »
[Chapter 4]   8)

I join the first three initiates in the decorated hallway, each of them clad in the same beige harness with ponytails sticking out from the crowns of the heads just like mine, all attempting to examine their mouths with their phones, mirrors, and one of them the glass of the display cases. The first girl, a tall, calculating type with black hair, flexes her lips as she attempts to open her jaw in increments, the little attempts to produce vowels failing.  The second and third, both sheepish brunettes, display their growing anxiety as they resist the streams of drool cascading from their mouths with each syllable.

I begin by stretching my neck, hoping to create a little more room for my jaw to move in my new harness. Using the force of the springs to my advantage, I work against the hold of the harness to open my jaw wider than most could manage, and step close to the pristine reflective display cases lining the hallway along side the second girl. I take a closer look to see my tongue encased completely in what looks to be a drool covered metal ring puzzle, two pieces welded to the inside of the trays, and connecting them a third piece, just as elaborate, bearing rows of metal points that move independently from the top and bottom pieces. On either side on my mouth, behind my molars I spot the rubber and plastic anchor pieces, now parting with my jaws, sat snuggly behind my back teeth. Even if I could dissolve the now solidified purple adhesive binding the trays to my teeth, I wouldn't have a chance removing the inhibitor with the anchor feature. It's design was effective, excessive, and clever.

As the hallway clocks tick, more girls join us. As each of them exit the installment room, they become less anxious upon seeing so many of us wearing the same uncomfortable contraptions. Any advantage the second and third girls hoped to obtain has been squandered in place of the growing anxiety they now possessed with more time to learn just how impossible it was to speak with the appliances in. The first girl still carried her look of determination, her surplus time with the appliance having seemingly done nothing to shake her.

The final girl enters the hallway to the tune of the rest of us sucking back saliva in scattered order, followed by Dr. Ashley, who glides right past each of us to meet a well dressed fossil slowly making his way towards the auditorium. Dr. Ashley politely redirects the frail gentleman towards the 12 of us, and with an endearing look of humble gusto, he begins his long, arduous journey towards our end of the hallway. An aged purple Rollator covered in faded rainbow and hedgehog stickers scoots its way towards us, each scoot accompanied by two careful steps behind it. A laminated picture of 4 smiling young children tied to the rollator's left handle swings wildly with each start and stop. Through my own repetitive sucking in saliva, I can make out his labored, purposeful breathing from a few meters away. He takes the time to proudly smile at each of us individually as he inches closer, no doubt a good use of the ample time. Now at the conclusion of his journey, he reaches with his left hand into his pocket, flashing a bright pink rubber wristband, producing a worn handkerchief which he uses to wipe his nose. After replacing it, he draws his right hand into the left breast pocket of his blazer, and with a proud nod to Dr. Ashley, produces a large bell that appears to be older than he is. His shaky spot covered hand triumphantly hoists it into the air sounding a jagged yet whimsical chime. He rings it twice more, his face gleefully shaped to an endearing grin. The trial has been officiated.

Dr. Ashley motions for two women in polos to escort us to the auditorium's stage via the side entrance. As we shuffle through the old looking single metal door into the dark draped side stage, we're led without warning to the brightly lit stage floor where 12 ornate wooden podiums, each with a microphone, stand eager to receive each of us. The fronts and backs of each podium display our names in bold on placards, each in the order we turned in our contracts from right to left from the audience's view. A larger 13th podium stands off to the side of the 1st, facing diagonally. As we reluctantly take to our podiums, I squint against the dizzying stage lights to see the auditorium's seats full, packed with rowdy frat recruiters showing off their new members, groups of student spectators drawn by the rumor of a strange ritual, and dozens of neatly seated university heads, all vehemently cheering and hollering. Phone cameras flash from groups of students as laughter joins the cheers with equal zeal, shaking the confidence of my fellow initiates.

A towering screen is brought down behind us from above, and a similar one is brought next to the 13th podium. The screens are turned on as Dr. Ashley joins us from stage right's entrance. She laughs as she waves to each of the fraternity leaders and university heads before taking her podium. As both screens play an animation around the sorority's logo, large cameras are directed at the stage, and Dr. Ashley begins the event at last.


"Ladies and gentleman, staff, faculty, and students! Welcome! I am Dr. Ashley Blanchet, professor of Biology, Psychology, and Experimental Orthodontics here at Winterville University. I am both pleased and honored to welcome you to our Fall 2033 semester Psi Sigma Nu's Trial for Vice President!"

The boisterous applause continues.

"Each of these brave young women have been equipped with speech inhibitors developed here at our esteemed university, and will each attempt to name randomly selected orthodontic appliances presented to them. In addition to a full set of metal orthodontic braces, each participant will be required to wear every appliance she fails to correctly name during this trial for the entirety of her first year of classes! The Vice President will be required to wear her appliances for the duration of her time at this university!"

Elated "oohs" overtake the room before Dr. Ashley effortlessly regains it.

"Each participant has two buttons atop their podiums; a pass, and a forfeit. Each can only be used once, so think carefully, ladies! You decide when you're out! Let's begin!"

A light at the front of the first girl's podium shines a bright yellow as she's called on for the first appliance. A set of Herbst appliances appear on both screens as Dr. Ashley calls on her.

"Caitlin James! You are up first. This is your appliance."

Caitlin sucks back saliva before bending towards the microphone, her black ponytail slipping past her shoulder, as she makes an earnest attempt.

"Hurssh Uhffliench..."

Scattered laughter slinks through the crowd.

"Sorry Caitlin, that is incorrect!"

I'm at least impressed she knew what it was. Her confidence was well founded.

"Bella Rose! Here is your appliance!"

The screens shift to what looks to be an automatic expander with vertical flat metal spikes pointing downward covering the entire palate, clearly a compliance device, and one not even I'm familiar with.

Bella is visibly shaken, and a bell sounds as she presses her green button, passing the appliance to the poor girl on my right.

"Our first pass of the night! That was certainly fast! Bad luck Sadie, since this appliance is one that was passed to you, you yourself are unable to pass it. Let's hear your best go!"

Surprisingly, the crowd puts forth genuine encouragement and cheers for Sadie. She musters the courage to part her lips.

"Mmmoihfie Eshhanherh."

"Incorrect! Great try though. Let's give it up for Sadie!"

Sadie slides a glare towards Bella, who tries to keep a straight face to hide her guilt.

"Next, Sophia Anderson! Here is your appliance!"

I'm greeted by a an intimidating "tongue-taming" appliance. Two rows of spikes connected by a third interlocking piece between them, not too different from the set we each had now. Recalling Mom's instructions, I boldly accept my appliance.

"Shhinhlair Shhfikesh."

I spot the faces of university heads eyeing me with intrigue.

"Incorrect! Great attempt though. Next, Sarah Marie!"


There's only one surefire way to win the trial, and it's a secret passed down by Grandma Esther. In the event of a tie between two or more participants, once each girl has cycled through every available appliance, the role of Vice President is awarded to whichever girl did not use her pass during the trial. Anyone who comes into this trial hoping to not have to wear appliances is delusional. The appliances are a guarantee. The purpose of the trial is to show the strength of conviction of it's participants. It's one big game of chicken. It's a test of metal. So many are lured by the status and opportunity that goes to the victor, yet so few lack the commitment and strength needed to overcome their pride. I have no desire to maintain appearances for vanity's sake. This trial is a matter of waiting out the competition, and I will accept every appliance they can fit in my mouth for Vice President. Everything from the stage, to the cameras, to the speech inhibitors, to the harnesses, is all to shake the wills of participants. I have no social reservations to hold me back. This trial is mine.


After the first round of appliances, only one girl chose to forfeit. Number 8, Denise, upon being passed a set of double headgear with a welded biteplate, quickly panicked and nearly broke her red button, unable to look at Number 7, Wendy, who only seemed happy she could dodge such an obvious appliance. The second round, 2 more girls dropped out of the running, each having used their passes only for compliance variants to come their way. After 3 more rounds, I had failed my own set of double headgear (without welded biteplates), a set of full closing elastics, adaptive bite blocks, and lip bumpers for each jaw. After the 4th round, with 5 more girls out, it was down to Caitlin, Bella, myself, and Number 9, a redhead with freckles named Alex. I could tell Bella was about to forfeit, having just failed a Van Been Activator, but Alex seemed to have a bit of fight left in her, and hadn't used her pass yet, and Caitlin seemed to have no intention of quitting. Now that the rounds were going by faster, the audience was growing more anxious, and Dr. Ashley seemed to be just as entertained, having no reservations about feeding their excitement. After having failed an Automatic Expander, I'm certain I'm past the point of no return for my mouth. It all comes down to who's willing to wear their appliances for the rest of their time here at Winterville, and how much more am I going to get before these three quit?