Going Down With The Ship: Impending Shutdown

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Going Down With the Ship- 2 Months Until Shutdown

The stage was set. Just over a week before, the Alpha house had been cut into a third of its former size by a membership review, and still faced the possibility of further investigations. However, they were not going to let this stop them from having fun. Amid the countless rumors and speculation around Greek Row regarding the current status of the house and its members, the Alphas kept to themselves for the most part. The ones that were left stayed indoors most of the time, out of the eyes of the public while they licked their wounds and prepared to make a comeback. If they were going to do this, it had to be done right.

With the help of nearly all of the actives and pledges that were left, preparation was in full swing three days before the big party was to be thrown. After hours of work, the house was more or less ready to go. The walls, doors, and vents were soundproofed, the windows were blacked out with paper, all the alcohol had been smuggled in through the back door, and any letters were hidden or covered up. People were invited purely by word of mouth, with not so much as a text or vague tweet going out. On the night of the party, the wifi was turned off and guests were ushered in through the back and side entrances. Around 11, things started to get off the ground.

“I’ve really got to hand it to you guys, we’re going to pull this off without a hitch.” One of the pledges, Randy, was commenting on the execution of the party.

“Shut the fuck up, Randy,” replied Carson. “This ain’t over yet.”

“Yes sir. Sorry sir.”

As part of the stipulations of the nationals investigation, the members who had been cut were no longer allowed to be on the property for any reason. It was really tough to turn them away when they tried to get in, but it had to be done. Carson was mulling this over in his mind when the grandfather clock in the front room began to chime. It was midnight, and the party still hadn’t really picked up yet. By the social committee’s count, nearly a hundred women had been invited, but many of them showed up only to leave a few minutes later. They clearly didn’t appreciate that the internet had been cut, but there was another problem. Alpha was struggling with manpower.

Out of 38 actives that were still around after the sanctions were levied against them, four resigned from the house for various reasons. Out of five pledges remaining, two dropped. With so few people and such low morale, the party felt hollow and forced. People were drinking not to have fun, but just to black out and try to forget what had happened. As the party dwindled into the early morning hours, some of the brothers got scary. People were vomiting in the hallway, punching holes in walls, and threatening to fight each other. Around 2:30, the top officers decided to call everything off, turning off the music and kicking out all of the guests. Carson went out onto the porch for a cigarette, with Mason joining him soon after.

Carson looked blankly out into the night.

“I just don’t get it, man. What are we supposed to do? They’ve cut us down to nothing.”

Mason wished he had some sort of answer, but could only shake his head. Carson went to bed a few minutes later, trying to fight back thoughts of how his fraternity seemed to be dying a slow death right before his eyes.

Over the next few weeks, the Alpha house began to more closely resemble a trap house. They stopped showing up at IFC meetings and struggled to get anyone to chapter meetings. Nobody cared anymore. They threw parties here and there, but the drug culture that had been in the background for so long now began to consume the house. People were blatantly doing drugs in the front room at all hours, and fights frequently broke out between brothers. Two more resigned, as did the last of the pledges. Despite the reduction in manpower, the drug ring still continued out of the house, now more profitable than ever. Carson did what he could to stop people from doing this, but he had lost control of his house. He took to simply ignoring all the drug running and pretending it wasn’t happening. On two different occasions, he spotted a black SUV on the corner, but didn’t think much of it. One morning, he was awoken by a phone call.


“Hi, Thomas Braddock from Alpha nationals. You’re going to want to stay put in your house, there are some people coming to get you. Do not contact us from here on out for any reason. Have a good day.”


Carson knew exactly what was happening, and was almost relieved that this day had come. He took a baggie out of his nightstand and brought it into the front room, where he dumped the contents out onto a coffee table. Might as well be high for this, he figured.

Read the conclusion here.

Previous installments:

9 Months Until Shutdown

7 Months Until Shutdown

6 Months Until Shutdown

3 Months Until Shutdown

2 Months Until Shutdown

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WJ Cope

He's the real reason people say "No one likes you when you're 23."

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