-->''I killed your closest friend to save you. Godhood necessitates great... discernment.''
---> '''- Gant'''

''Est Machina'' is a work by the troper {{Tropers/Morgulion}}. It chronicles, from first person POV, the travails of the nanomechanical construct [[BrainUploading GANT]] [[TheUnfettered 01]], who joins, through sheer chance, a venerable mercenary company consisting of two people: ([[HiredGuns Isako]] [[HitmanWithAHeart Itou]] and [[OldSoldier Ben]] [[BadassGrandpa Holz]]). Later joined or opposed by [[StateSec Jacob]] [[PunchClockVillain Renstein]], [[FourStarBadass Alexander]] [[MagnificentBastard Karr]], [[LawfulNeutral Maria]] [[MyCountryRightOrWrong Dage]], and [[JumpingOffTHeSlipperySlope Nicholas]] [[AxCrazy Gerem]], he finds that the once-decaying world is slightly different from what he considered.

Gant isn't remotely human, and he capitalizes on it: for him, society is a curious thing to explore, humans are trinkets to meet for a while and continue on his journey. He spends his days walking wastelands, fighting and killing the residents: anyone who wages war, engages his services, looks powerful enough to excite his jaded mind. On a Visit to an oerrun research facility, meets Itou and Holz, two mercenaries looking for salvage in a ruined city. Soon, the three get dragged into a conspiracy involving two of the world's mightiest nations and the fate of a small and insignificant state that lies between them. And much more threateningly, he starts to fall in love, undoing years of effort to remain detached.

If you want to read it, PM {{Tropers/Morgulion}} and he'll mail you a copy. Critique is always welcome.

!Examples of tropes:
* ActionGirl-Itou is the fastest of the trio and is capable of sparring with Gant when he fights in his normal style.
* AntiHero- Gant lampshades the trope when fighting Gerem, pointing out that he wants to kill him just because it's fun. Their positions are later reversed.
* AntiVillain- Alexander Karr and Maria Dage; the former is simply working, while Dage has seeral excellent reasons to pursue Gant. Gerem begins in this with entirely justified in his revenge against Gant, but goes off the slippery slope in his pursuit.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking- formerly Gant, who was an officer, and Le Grane.
* BadassLongcoat- Holz has a bulletproof one, in which he keeps explosives.
* TheBlank-Gant needs no face. It's more frightening that way.
* BloodKnight- Gant, a tightly controlled NobleDemon who doesn't pass up a good brawl. It's all fun to him, although he recognizes the devastation it causes.
* BrainUploading-For Gant, Gerem, and Dage, used to create war machines.
* CombatAestheticist- Gant realizes just how much he enjoys Itou's company when the two spar for the first time.
* CombatPragmatist- Renstein uses metal-lined fighting gloves and car bombs; Holz hides grenades in his coat; Gant has a whole variety of tricks, from changing the mass of his weapon to making spikes erupt from the earth.
* DeadpanSnarker- Itou, with Gant to a lesser degree.
* GlassCannon - Dage and Itou, who can fight with the best of them, but are far easier to harm.
* HeartbrokenBadass- Gant, Itou, and Holz all have their moments.
* LastNameBasis- Gant, to and from everyone.
* LeanAndMean-Gant- the thinnest and most antiheroic individual.
* LightningBruiser- All enhanced individuals, but Itou and Dage stand out, moving faster than even their compatriots can follow due to the perfect ratio of weight to power.
* LivingWeapon- Gerem.
* MightyGlacier- The school of design that focuses on this is responsible for Gerem, while Gant was formerly this but is now a LightningBruiser.
* MorphWeapon - The nanomachine arrays most commanders wear.
* {{Nanomachines}}- ubiquitous in military and medical applications, and are expensive for civilians. Gant, Gerem, and Dage are made from them, whereas the others use them in weapons.
* RazorFloss- Gant calls it a coward's weapon, but it's a fairly common one, particularly among killers, and he also knows how to use it.
* RetiredMonster- Gant and Holz, emphasis on 'retired'.
* RidiculouslyHumanRobot- Dage looks and acts just like a human until she sheds the facade, changing her form to a far mroe monstrous one when she fights.
* ShootTheDog- Grane and Karr believe that it is the chosen duty of some people to wage war, and that one sacrifice prevents far more others.
* SkeleBot9000- Gant and Dage's war forms.
* SpockSpeak- Gant uses no contractions and has very measured speech; the first time he swears is a serious sign of trouble.
* ShapeshifterWeapon-Gant and Gerem. Dage prefers to stay in a fixed state for the greater speed.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Averted. After the trio finishes its work for Karr, he hires them to do continued work.
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