The world of Keeper of the Lost Cities fanfiction is an intriguing one. New trends pop up all the time and die just as easily.
Yet, it is upon this nature of the fanfiction community that a secret world thrives on. Unbeknownst to many, there is a financial stake for many in whatever new trend arises among the fandom.
For you see, there is something just like the stock market, except with fanfiction. Elves, goblins and all sorts of other people can buy 'shares' of a type of fanfiction. If the amount of that fanfiction as a portion of the total number of fanfictions increases, then its value increases. Of course, there are many other things which are factored in such as length, number of reviews, number of hits, etc. as well.
The origins of this system are unknown. Some say that it would be most fitting that Lady Iskra, controller of markets and also an avid techie would come up with such an idea. Still, others point towards sources such as the Black Swan, the Neverseen, the Council, and the list goes on and on. Some would even argue that there was no creator of such a system, and it arose spontaneously from the dreams and thoughts of elves who went and logged onto the website.
Yet, though the origins may never be clear, one thing is certain: this system does exist. Many are those who have made mountains of lusters based on this system and many are those who have dropped out penniless.
As such of course, with such huge stakes in the system, there are always those who seek out to alter it. The story that I am about to tell is about one such event. As for its veracity, perhaps even the Ancients don't know whether it ever really happened or not. Maybe it isn't even necessary to know whether it is a true story. It is a tale that has long since been passed in the darkest depths of elven lore, and even its origins remain an enigma. What purpose does it serve? We may never know. Perhaps it is a story meant to simply show the futility of messing with the market. Perhaps it is a story that serves simply to amuse. Perhaps I should stop ranting and get on with the story.
Know this though, the names of all characters in this story have been altered in order to protect the real people's identities.
In a city that will not be named, there lived a certain elf who we will call Sophia. It was a dark and stormy night, and Sophia had chosen to remain inside her room.
However, she did keep glancing towards the door. Any minute now, she thought. Sophia was expecting a visitor. Just when he thought that he would be disappointed however, the door thrust open to reveal a strawberry-blond-haired, freckled elf. Let us call him Dox.
When Dox walked in, the first thing that happened was that he tripped over the rug. "Sophie!" he shouted. "Why'd you turn all the lights off?"
"I thought it would be cooler that way," Sophia said. She then actually turned on the lights. "So, I assume you're wondering why I called you here?"
Dox nodded. "I wouldn't have come here, but you mentioned that it had something to do with Kefee." Kefee is another elf whose name has been changed. He used to be in love with Sophia until a series of incidents involving a deal to not make physical contact, maid outfits, and virtual babies happened.
Sophia nodded. "Do you remember the whole eckodon fiasco?"
"Yeah," Dox said.
"Well," Sophia said, "there is something that I would like to show you."
Dox then noticed that there were a lot of curtains around the cabin. Clearly, Sophia really was trying to make this whole thing look cool.
"Gaze at this Dox, gaze at this," Sophia said and pulled away one curtain.
Dox could just stare weirdly. Behind the curtain was a maid outfit. And not just any maid outfit, it was a maid outfit that was very frilly and revealing and would have been very embarrassing to wear.
"Why are you showing me that?" Dox asked. Sophia turned around to look at what she had shown Dox and gasped.
"Sorry, wrong curtain," Sophia said. She then did the same with another curtain and all it revealed were several of her 'cultural' magazines. Sophia was beginning to turn red and finally managed to get the curtain right that time.
All it was was something that looked like an iPod... because it was an iPod.
"What is this?" Dox asked.
"Well, you see, do you know about fanfiction?" Sophia asked.
"That weird site? Yeah, what about it?" Dox asked.
"Well," Sophia said, "this is a bit of a long story so let me start at the beginning. So, there's like this sort of underground stock market based on fanfictions, and you can invest gold in a category of fanfiction that you want by buying shares. If the values of that go up, your money goes up. There a whole lot of categories to choose from. Riskier categories are considered to be more profitable. A lot of them do well all the time, like Sokeefe and 'KotLC Reacts,' but since those always work out well, there isn't much money to be made in them. No, it is the riskier categories, the ones that are on the edge, that really make the dough."
"You mean like Chandelitz?" Dox asked.
Sophia nodded. "Yes. Chandelitz is a very good example. Even though that category may anger the one involved with it, whoever came up with the idea and first invested in it is probably swimming in gold right now."
"So, what does this have to do with Kefee?" Dox asked.
Sophia said, "I'm getting there. You see, Kefee and I had another fight. Last time, he won our little battle that you might remember. So, we decided to go again. Of course, another physical fight would have been dumb and it would have been hard to really make something that we could consider to be fair for both of use. So we decided to have a different kind of contest. We each got ten lusters, and it is our goal to make as much as possible in a week from that. There are rules of course, like no borrowing more and all, so what I did was invest all of it into a certain stock."
"Isn't that dangerous?" Dox asked.
"Yes," Sophia said. "But at the same time, the rewards are also great as well. I've made up a new category that I call Keefex, you know, both of you together. Since I'm the founder I have a much larger stake in getting this right, and if I do, there is no way Kefee is going to beat me."
"And?" Dox asked.
"Well," Sophia said, "the thing is that although this has been going on pretty well, it isn't eligible to be on the market yet. If it isn't big enough, they won't consider it, because, well, you know so that people can't just go ahead and make a few of their own fanfics and flood the market and make millions and all. So, what I need for you to do is to somehow broadcast Kefee wearing a maid outfit again. I'm sure that seeing him like that will definitely help boost the fan's productivity and let me finally make something."
"Why would I help you with this? And why not do it yourself?" Dox asked.
"Because," Sophia said, "Kefee is going to be very wary of me and won't fall for it easily. You, on the other hand, stand a much better choice. And you'll do this because one, you get to see Kefee like that and also because Kefee and I had a little bet. The loser does whatever the winner says. You see, for me, it is enough merely to see him lose, but if you help me and we succeed, I swear that I'll let you decide what to do."
Now, this was a tricky situation for Dox. Though all that Sophia had said was true, it was also true that Dox felt that it would be like betraying Kefee in a way.
Eh, just kidding. Dox agreed to do it almost immediately.
"So, why not just invest in something else though?" Dox asked.
"Like I said," Sophia said, "nothing is there that's going to get me enough to guarantee my win. Of course, with Legacy out, there are now a lot of Book 8.5 fanfics and I suppose I could invest in them, but the problem then arises as to the fact that they're all going to stagnate eventually and then fall in price soon."
"So, is that why that maid outfit is there for?" Dox asked.
"Eh," Sophia said. "No, not really. It's just part of my maid outfit collection."
"You collect maid outfits?" Dox asked.
"Doesn't everybody?" Sophia asked. "Okay, maybe elves like you don't, but I'm sure all normal people do."
Normally Dox would have been offended at being called abnormal, but he was still sure that even regular demigods didn't go around collecting maid outfits. In the end, Sophia gave Dox an even frillier maid outfit than the one that he had seen to put Kefee in.
And so, another dawn eventually came upon Camp Half-Blood.
Sometime during the day, the demigod which we have chosen to call Kefee was walking along with a cat in his left arm.
Just then, a certain dad appeared. Since we will not name him, let use merely call him 'Lord Crappius.'
"KEFEE SENSING! I HAVE COME TO TAKE REVENGE ON THE HUMILIATION THAT YOU HAVE CAUSED ME! PREPARE TO- why are you holding a cat?" Lord Crappius asked.
"Well," Kefee said, "I had this bet with Sophia in which we would see who could raise the most money from only ten lusters, so I decided that I was going to patent this awesome invention and sell it."
The man just scratched his chin, wondering what that had to do with the cat.
"So, my amazing idea is this," Kefee said. "You know how cats always land on their feet? And also, toast also always lands with the buttered side facing up? So, I'm going to take a buttered piece of toast and attach it to the cat's back. Then, I'll toss it in the air and then the thing will start spinning around and around and never fall. Then, I'll attach it to a generator and I can get infinite electricity. Don't you think that that's just awesome! I am going to be swimming in gold after this."
Lord Crappius stared at Kefee and realized that he was seriously considering this idea.
"Well," Lord Crappius said, "I think I'll be going now."
"So, you're just going to forgive me like that?" Kefee asked. Kefee didn't want to fight, but he didn't get why his dad would suddenly change his mind.
"The thing is," the reply came, "I make it a point of honour to never attack mentally disabled people. Good day, Kefee."
And with that, the man was gone.
Kefee merely went about strolling on his way after that.
Then, it was time for Dox to put his plan into action. The first thing that he needed to do was to get Kefee in a crowded area with a lot of fans. That way, people would take photos of him and put them all on the Internet. As a matter of fact, an elf who we will refer to as Maralle had even already taken a photo of Kefee drinking coke, photoshopped it, and from now on it was called the 'Lazy College Senior Meme'.
The hard part was getting Kefee somewhere though. Dox had already arranged for a large crowd of fanboys/fangirls in the Lost Cities, but how to get Kefee to them? Just then he had an idea and scampered off.
Meanwhile, the elf who we have chosen to call Kefee had finally realized just how stupid his invention was and was now sulking. Just then, Dox walked up to him.
"Hey Kefee," Dox said. "Um, Fix (once again, the name has been changed to protect the owner's identity) wants a favour. You've got to deliver this backpack to Everglen. And yeah, there's an extra set of clothes in case you need one."
Kefee's mind registered this and took the bag. Within a few hours, he was on his way towards Everglen, and was just a few feet away from where the fanboys/fangirls were gathered.
It was now time to implement step 2 of Dox's plan. Dox pulled a hood over his head and walked towards Kefee and 'accidentally' sprayed mustard all over his shirt and vanished before anyone could notice.
Now, then Kefee was forced to take refuge in an alleyway and change as quickly as possible. He really didn't pay attention to what he had put on, but as we walked out he noticed that there was a large crowd of people in front of him.
Suddenly, someone jumped out at him, it was a monster who we will now call Tina. Clearly she had come back for revenge. The two began fighting, but the only thing was that he felt odd somehow, and the people around them weren't screaming or anything. Rather, they were taking pictures of him.
And then Kefee finally noticed what he was wearing. The people around him were all cheering, and it was so distracting that he began losing the fight.
Meanwhile, Dox was staring at them. He just couldn't help but look away, after all, Kefee looked way better in the maid outfit than he could have ever imagined. But there was a problem. Kefee was clearly losing, and Dox just couldn't bear to see that.
"Wait!" he shouted to everyone who was gathered there. Everyone stopped clicking photos for a moment and Kefee and Tina stopped fighting.
"That person," Dox said, pointing to Kefee, "is actually a boy."
There was dead silence for a few seconds. Kefee was actually glad that Dox had come all the way from somewhere and saved him.
But then, everyone started taking even more photographs even more enthusiastically. Dox rubbed his hair, just what kinds of perverts were these people?
Kefee was once again failing, and that's when Dox decided to take a more drastic measure. First of all, he told Tina to go away. Then, he turned on all the people clicking pictures.
"Stop it!" Dox shouted. His voice rang out all the way along the square. "You can't just go around taking pictures of people without their permission. We have rules around this place, people. Stop doing stuff like this."
Everyone lowered their heads in shame. Kefee was feeling extremely grateful for Dox now.
Dox then light-leaped away, feeling too ashamed to face anyone momentarily.
And so, pictures of Kefee and Dox's confessions went all around the Internet, and finally, Keefex got even more fanfics than usual and Sophia made a lot of gold.
Kefee, however, made more gold by trading in his ten lusters for a boat, going out to see, and excavating gold from a sunken ship. So, in the end, he won.
And so we end our tale. What can we learn from such a thing? Perhaps no one knows.
Perhaps it isn't even important that we know. You make your own conclusions.
By the way, since the names of all characters and places have been changed significantly, if you think that you recognize anyone or anything and that one of them seems oddly like a character you know, well, you're wrong.