MacCready – Mediocre Merc or Master Manipulator?

fallout 5 - MacCready - Mediocre Merc or Master Manipulator?

This guy. This fucking guy.

I've been torn down the middle since I first ever did his companion quest on weather he's the most mediocre mercenary alive or an absolute master of manipulation.

Here are the reasons why his mercenary story doesn't hold up on my opinion:

  • He's hiding in Goodneighbour from the Gunners, who find him anyway, and claims it's a risk for him to be out in the Commonwealth at all. Despite this, no Gunners ever come looking for him again. Barnes and Winlock aren't high ranking Gunners either, judging by their equipment and the way Gunners gear matches with their position within the group. Supporting this is the fact they go to see MacCready in person. Since when do Gunners leaders deal with that kind of bullshit personally? They'd send a grunt. I'll elaborate on why this is important further down.

  • MacCready asks you to take out Barnes and Winlock. Mercenaries generally don't ask their boss to do work for them. That's not how that job works.

  • MacCready only begins discussing Duncan and his condition AFTER Barnes and Winlock are dealt with.

  • He constantly brings up the matter of his trust in you. What does it matter if a hired gun trusts you? You've been paid to do a job. It matters if I trust you. Not vise versa.

  • He had the security codes to Med-Tek the entire time. His bullshit about trust falls apart here. It's not at all about trust. He couldn't handle Med-Tek alone and wants to make damn sure you can handle it for him.

  • His story doesn't hold up. He claims his wife, Lucy, was torn apart by Ferals right before his eyes and he barely got away with Duncan. An experienced merc or wastelander, especially with a wife and kid, wouldn't be so stupid as to hold up in a metro station. He's lived in the Capitol Wasteland his entire life prior coming to the Commonwealth; why wasn't he, his wife and child at Rivet City or Megaton?

Also, turn apart by feral ghouls you say, MacCready? So where's your PTSD? Why do you actually actively MOCK feral ghouls right to their faces? I'd be terrified to my core if I ever saw a feral again after that shit and he just stands there mocking them with the following voiceline:

"Eluuughh… Shut up!"

  • The plague he describes is New Plague, a pre-war biological weapon experiment that went wrong. It's highly contagious and deadly. This raises even more questions:

  • Who is taking care of Duncan? How old is Duncan? Where is Duncan in the Capitol Wasteland? Apparently at "MacCready's Homestead". If had a homestead why was he in a subway tunnel with his wife and child?

  • He never describes anything about Lucy or Duncan, despite his rhetoric about trusting you. He doesn't say it pains him to discuss it or that he'd rather not. He just doesn't discuss them in any detail whatsoever other than Lucy's horrific death.

  • He's been back and forth from the Commonwealth at least once before, confirmed by dialogue with Vadim asking about Lucy. Duncan isn't mentioned and MacCready simply states that "she didn't make it". This is very important as the phrase "they didn't make it" is a term primarily used to describe an individual that died in a combat situation or or a mission.

  • He uses an overly obvious "quirk" when he swears, quickly correcting himself. This is intentional and and he eludes to the fact he was wondering when you'd notice and ask. Very clever way of introducing characters from his story.

There are even more things of note about MacCready and his story that don't hold up but I think that'll do as a baseline.

Now, onto my theory:

MacCready is a liar and everything he tells you is bullshit.

There's no Duncan. Never has been.

Lucy was likely his partner and perhaps his wife or girlfriend and she was killed obtaining the Med-Tek facility passcodes.

He and Lucy were part of a team with Barnes and Winlock. The target: the one and only known remaining dose of Prevent. The client: The Institute or an agent of the Institute.

After obtaining the passcodes and Lucy being KIA, MacCready double crosses Barnes and Winlock and that's why they're pissed at him and warn him to stay out of Gunner territory. MacCready is hiding in Goodneighbour because he's known there and knows that the Gunners would never try and hit it. Not that two low ranking Gunners could even convince their Commander to do so.

MacCready needs Barnes and Winlock off the table before proceeding to Med-Tek. He wants them dead for several reasons:

  • They're loose ends that need tying.
  • They could somehow interfere.
  • They could let it spill that the real reason was to sell the Prevent to a buyer, thus tarnishing MacCready's reputation as "one of the good ones" and casting doubt on his intentions going forward.
  • With Lucy KIA, MacCready may blame Barnes and Winlock.

If Barnes and Winlock "have an army with them at all times" they'd have a bounty on MacCready's head and be hunting him throughout The Commonwealth. They don't. They're nobodies and likely just grunts themselves, thus their affiliation with MacCready.

MacCready needs you, you don't need him. With Lucy dead, he needs a new gun to take on Med-Tek because, as Daisy states, he got his ass handed to him when he previously tried and had to retreat.

He suckers the Sole Survivor in with bullshit about the New Plague infecting his non existent son. Gets you to wipe out the ferals in Med-Tek and get the Prevent.

He then entrusts the Prevent to Daisy to get it to Duncan. Bullshit. Daisy is in on the scheme. She's likely the longest serving merchant in Goodneighbour, maybe even the entire Commonwealth, and likely had contacts everywhere. Daisy is getting a cut and serving as the middleman between MacCready and the buyer. Bunker Hill is the centre of caravan trade within The Commonwealth. NOT Goodneighbour. If MacCready wanted a caravan trader, he'd be dealing with Stockton and Kessler. How convenient that Daisy has a caravaneer friend travelling to the Commonwealth.

So, MacCready is either the most incompetent mercenary in Fallout or is an absolutely methodical manipulator that's only in it for the Caps and thus one of best written characters in Fallout 4.

I'm sure there are things here and there that cause conflicts with my theory and I'd happily try and address them.

Still, is everything in 4 is literally as MacCready says then he is by far one of the most poorly written characters in Fallout history and that would be a damn shame.

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