|Name:||Dark Perkulators (Dark Perks, DP)|
|Date(s):||2 February 1998 - present|
|URL:||Dark Perkulator Mansion
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The Dark Perkulators are a Forever Knight faction devoted to Nick's third-season partner, the human police detective, Tracy Vetter. However, unlike other "dark" fraction factions, they do not necessarily want the character to become a vampire. Rather, they recognize her to be a strong and capable police officer.
Although formally Dark Perkulators, the faction name is usually abbreviated to Dark Perks or DP. The members also often refer to themselves as "Thugs".
- Dark Perkulator Mansion
- The Dark Perkulator Library (archived)
- Cousin Mary's Tracy Vetter Page
- DP Burp Page
Of all the major character-based factions, the Dark Perks are perhaps the one most noted for lively fun. They might be described as the sorority from hell—a sort of St Trinian's version of girly-girlishness. In keeping with this, they have a tongue-in-cheek association with the colour pink (especially shades of hot pink or fuchsia) while making jokes about toting guns. Thugs tend to wear leather and dark pink, and are reputed to wear pink underwear. They ride pink Harley motorcycles, and wear DP utility belts. They also carry replicas of the "Duffel Bag o' Doom", i.e., the duffel bag that Tracy used in the episode, "Hearts of Darkness".
During war, they engage in general mayhem.
The shades of pink (allowing for the dark) kind of summed up what I was going for. So many people dismissed pink as harmless, so I used it to reflect how -not- harmless Tracy and the DP could be. (plus I like pink ;)
The bunny thing was because Tracy was seen as perky and harmless, like a pink bunny. The DP were supposed to be perky but ominous. The headless thing went with that and were easy for people to make in real life if they wanted to carry one around. I remember a couple of DP made themselves bunnyhead keychains.
— Cousin Mary
As the name of the faction suggests, the Dark Perks are exceedingly fond of coffee. Many war posts riff on this.
When Mary Jenkins joined FORKNI-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU in 1997, her two favourite characters were LaCroix and Tracy Vetter. In honour of the former, she joined the Cousins list and adopted the soubriquet "Cousin Mary". However, she did not feel that the Perkulators' interpretation of Tracy accorded with her own.
Calling herself a "Dark Perkulator" was initially no more than a tongue-in-cheek personal statement. However, on 14 December 1997, responding to a thread about proposing new factions, Cousin Mary wrote the following:
Hey if we can suggest new factions how about the Dark Perkulators?
I am of the firm belief that Tracy has a dark side. She made several sarcastic and biting comments during the show. But also the fact that she chose -homicide- as her area, and the fact that she was so fascinated by vampires points to a serious dark side. Plus in my stories Tracey is a cross between the Terminator and Barbie, plus she ends up with Lacroix in half of them! So what about it?<g>
Mary, Cousin, NA, The Dark Perkulator
There was considerable positive response; and the Dark Perkulators affiliation was therefore officially formed 2 February 1998 in reaction to the "fluffy" tone of the already existing Perks faction.
The Dark Perkulators are a militant group of Thugs dedicated to exploring Tracy Vetter's dark side. This includes the examination of her more assertive aggressive side and an appreciation of her general potential and tenacity.
— From the "Official Spiel"
We see Tracy as a gal with attitude, dealing with difficult issues and giving as good as she gets. — From the introduction to the DP-L Yahoo Group
When the original Perks did not sign up for War Nine, the DP replaced them, and since then have had control of the character, Tracy Vetter, during war activities.
Although in lists of factions Perks and Dark Perks are usually listed as distinct, it would be more accurate to say that, despite the origin of the DP as a fraction faction, there is really—and has for many years been—only one Tracy-focused faction. The Dark Perks have simply superseded the early Perks. Any original Perks still playing today do so therefore under the DP banner. Because of this fusion, the faction is sometimes referred to as the "Perks/DP"; but it is actually the Dark Perks' attributes that dominate.
Outside their war-related activities, the DP used to run a very active list, and posted many Tracy-related stories. They also evolved a wide range of couple factions, linking Tracy with many other characters, often on a humorous "least likely" basis. There were also some half a dozen members who wrote stories about the Dark Perks themselves, featuring faction members as characters in birthday stories, adventures, tales of revenge against bad bosses, and the like.
At one time we had 60+ members, a few of whom didn't even watch FK. I actually got an email a few months back from a girl who'd joined when she was 14 (she's 26 now) who wanted to thank me for giving her such an empowering experience :) — Cousin Mary
Because of their active writing and madcap antics in and out of war, the Dark Perks have accumulated considerable fannish lore peculiar to their faction.
Cousin Mary's story, "A Dark Perk Easter", opens with the Dark Perks eating chocolate Easter bunnies, starting with the heads. Later in the story, they mock-attack a fellow DP, Eric McCann, who is wearing a pink bunny costume, and mount the felt head of his costume on a pike on the front lawn of the Dark Perks' Mansion. The story inspired the use of the "headless bunny" motif as a running gag.
In the first war in which the Dark Perks participated, they used either headless bunnies or bunny heads as their calling card, leaving them at the scene of each attack. Later on, headless bunnies became the DP "call to arms": each member would receive one (perhaps in the mail, or at their desk at work, or carried in by their pet) at the beginning of the war, at which signal they would drop everything and head to Toronto.
Indeed, in real life, a lot of Dark Perks would send headless bunnies to each other through the mail for birthdays and the holidays.
The Dark Perks headquarters was introduced in Cousin Mary's story, "Dark Perk Mansion" (1999):
The house was a four-story Victorian Gothic, painted very dark gray with a faded red trim.
It squatted like a giant gargoyle at the top of the small hill. A cross between the Psycho and Addams Family's house the mansion fairly dripped with malevolence. The yard was over grown with thorn bushes and a sinister looking wrought iron fence surrounded it all. The over all effect rose the hairs on the back of both women's necks.
"Are we actually going to live there?" Ren whispered.
Mary was shaking, "I-I." Suddenly she smiled. "If it scares us, imagine what it'll do to the others!"
Ren started. "You like it?"
Mary fairly bounced out of the car, her initial fear gone; she was ready for an adventure. "I -love- it!"
— from "Dark Perk Mansion"
Described as "pretty much Clue Mansion", it is at the fictional address of 1313 Mocking Bird Lane in the Toronto suburbs. The irascible housekeeper, Mrs. Hitchcock, is a play on the director. The top three floors are bedrooms, so that each Thug can have his/her own bedroom.
There are bats in the belfry and Jello in the basement. In fact, the basement is filled with the Jello, which has the curious characteristic that anyone thrown into it sleeps until pulled out.
The DP mansion is haunted by pink demons, who tend to run amok (rather like the DP themselves), though they are unable to leave the mansion. These demons are about three inches high and dark pink, with no facial features; but they have tails. It is impossible to kill them. Since they are chaotic, the only way to combat them is for the faction members to keep organized. (This references Tracy's tidy apartment: in one episode, Javier Vachon even accused her of alphabetizing her fridge.)
One of the demons has been made something of a pet, and named Burp. He's particularly fond of the DP Demon Doctor Jenn (who experiments on him) and Rosemary (who's nice to him.)
Although no formal symbol has been adopted by the DP, a selection of variants were created by Anne Jensen. Each depicts a mug with a fanged smiley face in some combination of white, black, and hot pink.
In 2012, Greer Watson created an icon for the DP as part of her project to create a set of icons for all the Forever Knight factions. The design composits a screen capture of Tracy with a cropped picture of the top of the head of a white toy rabbit, orienting them so that it looks as though she is pointing a gun at the rabbit. The icon also includes one of Anne Jensen's DP symbols in the top right corner.
- This information is largely adapted from the article, "Dark Perks", on the Forever Knight Wiki.
- Much of this information comes from the "DP FAQ" page on Cousin Mary's Tracy Vetter Page.
- Quoted with permission from a private e-mail from Cousin Mary to Greer Watson, 27 April 2011.
- Most of this information is taken from "About the Dark Perks" on Cousin Mary's Tracy Vetter Page.
- The information on non-war DP fan fiction is adapted from a personal e-mail sent by Cousin Mary to Greer Watson on 29 April 2011.
- Quoted with permission from a private e-mail from Cousin Mary to Greer Watson, 27 April 2011.
- The information on headless bunnies is adapted from a personal e-mail sent by Cousin Mary to Greer Watson on 29 April 2011.
- The information on the pink demons is adapted from a personal e-mail sent by Cousin Mary to Greer Watson on 29 April 2011.