"Well don't go standin' around slack-jawed, tellin' me what I already know - fuckin' do it."
|Mack The Torch|
|Karma||Scourge of the Wastes|
|Face Claim||Mark Pellegrino|
Born on a small brahmin ranch somewhere between the Hub and the Mojave, it might be surprising to learn that the artist formerly known as Macintosh Shelley does not, in fact, have some morbid childhood horror story to explain the way he turned out. His home life was quiet, his parents were fairly decent people, all things considered, and Mack himself would at least have a roof over his head and enough food in his belly throughout his early years, which is really all one can ask for growing up in the Wastes. But whether through a fluke of genetics, radioactive foul play, or just some sort of cruel cosmic joke, Mack was born with a spark of madness deep in his mind, and the older he grew, the more that flame caught. His parents could see it, and so tried to keep him from leaving the ranch when they could, keeping him out of sight and out of mind - but fire is a thing that is difficult to contain, and it's only a matter of time before it find a way to spread, toconsume.
Mack was fifteen when he burned the Shelley Ranch to the ground; whether deliberately or by accident even he couldn't really say, but what he does know is that the inferno was the honest beginning of his almost hypnotic enchantment with flame. His father managed to escape the blaze, but his mother did not, and before the embers were even cool the man had taken up his rifle and chased the young firebug off the ruined ranch and into the Wastes. That was the start, and there was nowhere to go but downhill from there; over the next twenty-five years Mack would be hardened and splintered by a savage, anarchic lifestyle, taking what he needed and destroying what he didn't, never staying in one place long enough for the local law to catch up to him. It was the best possible life for a man like him, but there was always something missing, a need in his black heart that went unfulfilled, that the flicker of his trademark lighter only served to intensify. It wasn't until ten years ago that he discovered exactly what it was.
While raiding his way through the Mojave, Mack came upon a small settlement that was just begging for his special kind of attention, and so he took up a machete and a submachine gun and charged in balls to the wall, laughing like a lunatic. What he didn't expect, however, was another man of similar persuasion competing for the privilege, and his first meeting with one Brody Jenks proceeded largely to the tune of thrown punches and broken noses. That is, until an NCR patrol saw smoke on the horizon and went to investigate, effectively giving the two men something they wanted to fight more than each other. The following confrontation was just short of legendary, two mean sons of bitches fighting back to back like there was no tomorrow, and after all was said and done there was enough good will between them to last them at least to somewhere they could sell their spoils.
What Mack wasn't expecting was for the burns riddled up his arms and the lighter perpetually in his hands to give Brody ideas, and when the other man put a flamer in his hands and egged him into taking it for a spin, that outlet that had been missing since leaving the ranch was suddenly provided, and there wasn't a thing on earth that could stop him now. Mack became Mack the Torch, and Mack the Torch became Torch and Brody, a Hell-bent pair that would wreak havoc on the Mojave and the surrounding regions for years to come. A decade later their spree has yet to come to a halt, and it'll take nothing short of a bullet between the eyes to put this mad dog down.
Continuing Adventures Edit
Mack the Torch is exactly what people are talking about when they say the Wastes can turn a man into an animal, although some might debate that the man was just born fucked in the head, broken in some visceral way from the very beginning. There is nothing he enjoys more than violence, and he has been known to raze isolated settlements to the ground for no other reason than that it pleased him to do so; he is impulsive and chaotic, prone to leaping before he looks, but he is also extremely hardy, and a ruthless survivalist. He has the tenacity to endure circumstances that would have another man shitting bricks, although it should be said that though his body has made it through his various trials little the worse for wear, his mind is far from whole.
As his name should make fairly apparent, Mack has more than a bit of a thing for fire; he derives almost sexual pleasure from it, and the sight of Mack the Torch approaching with his trademark flamer in hand is a cause for terror if ever there was one. This is a man who simply wants to watch the world burn, and he might or might not be singing a big band number while he sees it done. He cannot be reasoned with, he cannot be talked down, he cannot be appeased; he has no compassion to be called upon, and caps are considered nothing but a bonus of the activity - brutality is his only reward, and that is what makes him truly dangerous. Of course, his psychotic lack of organizational skills can potentially provide a limiting factor, but as long as he has someone to do the planning and give his blind rage direction, he's nothing short of a juggernaut - and unfortunately for the Mojave, it just so happens that he does.
If the gigantic mother-fucking flamer and his extremely indicative name weren't enough to clue one in on Mack's pyromaniacal tendencies, the burn scars in various stages of healing all over his body most certainly will. His hands are in the worst condition, but the shiny pink streaks curving around the right side of his face are just as noticeable, and the insides of his elbows are all but rife with distinctive cigarette burns, product of idle habit. Worn and disheveled and generally physically true to his psychopathic nature, Mack perpetually wears a rickshaw snarl of a grin, and his mode of dress generally consists of black leather armor and a compilation of trophies from his kills that he found particularly appealing. Much like a magpie collecting shiny objects, really.