Authors Foreword: Only the OC belongs to me. I do not support the IRA, or any related terrorist organisations in any shape or form, flames regarding Original Characters in my fic should be sent in my email where they will be properly ignored. I'm sorry if I sound defensive, but I have had bad experiences with people unwilling to see writers make characters interact strongly with the main characters, because it's Out of Character.

I personally believe this OoC business, is horseshit, especially if the author is trying to make a serious fic. If for any reason you believe that a character is Out of Character, and you don't like it, tough. I won't do a damned thing to change it. I will try to have characters stay in character as much as possible, but there will be OoC circumstances, mostly humor, but some are also serious.

There is no yaoi, and there is no yuri. Sorry folks. Romance, yes, but only with the OC and a rather unimportant character in the GG universe. Hint, you don't play as her at all.

I'm writing this story because I like Guilty Gear, not for the whim of anyone. You don't have to like it, all I want is feedback, and the occasional praise would be nice as well, as well as well-thought out constructional criticism, and any character history/GG plot line inconsistencies, please point them out, because I know I am going to have some, and anything grammar related is greatly appreciated.

I'm sorry if I sound like an ass. I'm a nice guy really, I'm just tired of idiots saying omg, jam would never act like that, too ooc which makes this crap!!!111

Hopefully you guys are different.

Oh, and thanks goes out to Igatona and Kaiser Ryouga II for pointing out the glaring flaw in my other fic, Chloroform.

Name: Rufus Shackler
Height: 6'4''
Weight: 124 lbs.
Birthday: May 20
Blood Type: O
Race: Human/Unknown

Subject is an unknown mechanic in The United Republic of Ireland. Although not of Irish descent, all that is known about the subject is his uncanny use of Magic.

While having the ability to freely use Magic without outside aid requires attention, his genuine lack of enthusiasm about the world around him renders what could be a serious concern, harmless.

Regardless of his abilities, his lethargy makes him a minor threat. We assign the subject with a Risk Rating of D.

For once, I wish Lady Luck wouldn't try to cut my throat.

It was a calm, partly cloudy day in Twelve Pint, under the Galloway mountain in southeast Ireland. The beaches were calm, the land was green with grass. In short, if one was to give it a casual glance, it would have appeared to be virtually untouched during the Holy War.

Once you got past the pretty scenery, and the happy lives of the Irish that lived there, there was political turmoil. During the Holy Way, Ireland had many small wars, the more publicised one was the acquisition of Northern Ireland from the British by an alarmingly large force of the Irish Republican Army, which was believed to have been disbanded in the year 2010.

As soon as the IRA managed to kick out the British from Northern Ireland, it had a series of civil wars, all between the IRA and the NIP, the New Ireland Party, until 2073, when the Perfect Gear was assembled. Fearful of the Gear, the IRA and NIP lowered down their arms, and combined to make a democratic/republican state, and together formed the URI, the United Republic of Ireland. When a country suddenly attacked another country using Gears in 2074, Ireland withdrew all troops from various points of the world and barricaded the island, effectively shutting off all contact from all countries.

It finally opened itself up, after one hundred and one years of seclusion, after an emissary from the Holy Order came, and informed them of the status of the world.

During the century old hiatus from the world, Ireland had established a stable political structure, economy and society, until after the Guilty Gear tournament, when old, bitter feuds began to erupt again, reminiscent of the IRA and NIP. The Ireland Caretakers are against a rebel faction of the URI, the Ireland Usurpers, who wish to militarise Ireland. The Caretakers argue that in doing so will alarm other countries, and they will have to deal with veteran armies, while the Usurpers counter that Ireland will be crushed once the countries recover from the Holy War.

None of this means anything to the general populace, whose long confinement in peace and prosperity has left them carefree and lazy.

And Rufus Shackler, mechanic of eighteen years of age, was no different.

Born by foreigners who disappeared without a trace, Rufus was in an orphanage, raised by a gentle, but firm, maestress, until an event made him forgo a steady job at the orphanage to be a mechanic, where he discovered his Magic abilities, and his almost Einstein-like quality of knowledge of machinery. He currently is the head mechanic of Rumby's Auto Shop and Pub.

The sounds of a ratchet dominated the air around a small garage in a small, podunk town called Twelve Pint. The roads were not paved, the largest building in town was the General Store. Kids ran around in the dirty, muddy streets kicking a worn, black and white checkered ball, and the air was damp with the smell of the recent rain, and the aroma of burning wood, either from fireplaces or from the metal barrels in the alleys. If one was from the 20th or the 21st, and from any old fashioned town, they would feel right at home.

At the current age and time, though, any ordinary citizen out of Ireland would find this like an alien world. Didn't really matter what they think, this was his home, and he would know no other.

Well, your engine is pretty much rotted to the core, Gully. a tall, rather scrawny man said from under a century old pickup. Look's like your Jitterbug is finally going down for the count. he pulled himself out from under and sat up, grease and oil smeared across his face.

Sorry Gully.

Gully, an old man in his sixties, sighed. Figures. No hope, huh? he asked mournfully. Rufus shook his head. Nope, not even me can fix it now. I can buy it off you.

Gully looked like he wasn't paying attention, as he stared at the peeling, rust coloured pickup. Finally he spoke, I reckon so. How much would she fetch?

A hundred dublins. Rufus answered truthfully. The only use the pickup would have was to be scrap metal, or a venting object for those troubling times for Rufus.

Gully shook his head, not surprised at the pitiful low amount of money offered, yet grieved at the same time.

Very well. Can I take something for me?

Rufus shrugged. Sure, whatever you need.

Thanks, Rufus.

Rufus bristled.

Gully, you know better than to call me that.

Gully laughed mournfully. Sorry, m'boy, force of habit. It was a well-known fact that Rufus hated his first name, he always thought of an ugly name, that only pertained to ugly, prissy boys born with the silver spoon in their mouth.

Shackler, m'boy, thank you for your help. Gully said, as Shackler got up and went to the cash register, where a woman was busy putting on makeup, or talking to God-knows-who on her cellular phone. Shackler long gave up on convincing her to do her job, and grudgingly did the work for her.

Not a problem, Gully. Shackler said, as he withdrew four shimmering blue slips of paper, and headed over to Gully.

A hundred dublins. Sorry about this, Gully.

It's not a problem boy, Jitterbug has given the Gullies a hundred years of good service, guess it's time to put her out of misery.

Shackler only nodded, and Gully went over to the pickup, and patted the hood.

See you, Jitters. he said softly, and turned around and walked out the garage.

Shackler felt rather bad for the old man, and he felt bad for the pickup too. A lot of times he hated feeling bad for inanimate objects like vehicles, and cushions, but that's usually made up for feeling good about fixing ancient cars and lighting the faces on some old person. He was told he was extremely gifted in the mechanics department, and he believed it. He was also told that everyone was lazy and clueless. Didn't matter, as long as people had crusted, old vehicles, he was making a decent living.

Of course, sometimes, late at night, he felt the need to roam, like something was pulling him. He usually sated this feeling by walking the huge, expanding fields, the moors, and has carefully navigated mires. Most of the time, however, he preferred staying where he was, where nothing was bothering him, and the only concern of his is living to see the next pay check.

He lifted a rather heavy wrench, looked at the pickup, and swung the wrench hard into the side door of the pickup, where it went CLANG! and a huge imprint was left on it.

Metal was malleable still. Good, the pickup was a bargain then. He made a note to dismantle it in the morning tomorrow.

Ah, hey! a boyish voice made Shacklers head turn.

he asked, in a flat, uncaring tone.

A rather young man was scratching the back of his head, dressed in a red, blue, and white striped shirt with a ripped sleeve vest, and a red bandanna. He looked ridiculously out of place compared to how Shackler himself dressed, in torn, faded grey overalls, stickball cap pulled down almost over his eyes, with a worn teal shirt.

You still open?

Shackler looked at the clock. It was five minutes to closing time, and he had half a mind to tell this guy he was wrapping things up, but hell, why not? Not like he was missing much any ways, rugby season was over, all that was left was recycled showings of some game called soccer, and he was pretty sure Alistair wouldn't mind a late customer.

Yeah. Whaddya want? Shackler drawled, grabbing a towel and started to rub his hands, grease and oil coming off, like fresh blood.

Really? Hey man, thanks! the kid said cheerfully. I'm having some problems with my motorcycle, keeps making this awful grind when I start it up.

Motorcycle? What model?

For some odd reason, Shackler suddenly had an idea of overcharging this git.

Harley Davidson Year 1987.

Shackler grinned.

Yeah right. A cycle of that vintage would be worth more than half of Ireland.

The guy looked indignant, and he stomped his foot.

Wanna see? he challenged.

Shackler shrugged, turned around to grab his toolbox, and turned around, and did a double take. The same guy was there, except he had a large cut mark on his left cheek, his clothes were a little worn and faded, and his motorcycle look a lot different. He raised an eyebrow, and went over and knelt by the cycle.

It's a Plesskin 700, man. he said, grinning smugly.

the guy asked, blinked, and looked down.

Oh...OH! Yeah, I know, a joke, a joke. he said, breaking into a nervous laugh, not entirely unpleasant, but a new sound compared to most other people.

Yeah, pretty good one too, not a lot of people know about Harley Davidson, Shackler said, opening his tool box, and withdrew some sort of pipe with a knob at the end. Hell, if you had one, you wouldn't have to worry about anything really, everyone will suck up to you like nobody business.

I bet. That a narchet?

Shackler nodded. Yeah. You know mechanics?

A little. the guy shrugged, and wiped his face. His voice was less cheery now, a little empty, but aside from that it didn't really change.

Where you from?

Uh, England. But I'm different, I'm not a bloody bastard!

Shackler looked up. Why are you so defensive?

Um, I heard Ireland didn't much like England...?

Shackler blinked. News to me.

The kid opened his mouth, then changed his mind and started to laugh nervously again. Shackler had a feeling the kid was fleeing from something, mentally shrugged and went back to probing the engine.

What's your name?

Ahhh, Axl.

Axl Low. Axl said, scratching the back of his head again, smiling nervously. Shackler grunted. Nice name, better than mine, any ways.

What's yours?

Ah. You have a last name?

Axl nodded faintly then looked down. How's it going, Shackler Rufus?

Shackler groaned, and Axl laughed. I just kid man, Rufus your first name?


Something rolled out of the exhaust pipe, and Shackler leaned over and picked it up, and looked mildly surprised.

First time I ever saw bullets inside a motor before Shackler said, bemused. He looked up at Axl. You say your from England, what are ya doing here?

If the question caught Axl off-guard, Shackler would have eaten his welder. If anything, Axl almost expected the question.

Came here to look for someone, Axl answered quickly, then laughing again.

Shackler said dryly. He looked at the clock. Five o' clock. He turned towards Axl, opening his mouth, when Axl answered,

Shackler blinked, genuine surprise on his face.

I haven't asked anything yet. he said slowly, furrowing his eyes and concentrating on Axl.

Of course! Sorry, sorry, Axl said quickly, palms facing toward Shackler. What were you going to ask?

Shackler waited a while before asking his question.

There's a pub I always go to other than this one, wanna go? Shackler asked.

Axl thought about this for a few moments, before replying,

Shackler got up, and was about to put his tools away, when Axl said Ah, keep your wrench handy on you.

Shackler looked at Axl. This was one helluva weird fellow.

My wrench?

Shackler blinked, then put his wrench inside his pants pocket.

Just in case... Axl said, nervously shrugging, Ah, you know, a car accident, or something.

Shackler agreed warily. The two walked out of the garage, and Shackler closed the door.

Wait here... Shackler muttered as went to the front register where the secretary was currently reading a magazine. Axl nodded, and stretched.

Woowhee... Axl thought. I have a lot of work to do...

Shackler came back, looking slightly amused.

Alright, we're officially closed. You can stay at my place for till mornin', come on, I'll take you for a drink. Shackler said.

Axl grinned. Sure thing man.