The gap between them closed within seconds, and Abbas reached out to grab him.
Ivan saw him. Half his face was gone. Only one eye, a few teeth, burned muscles and shattered bones remained. But the man was still able to fight back.
Abbas felt it. The sudden crushing weight all around him. Even with the antiparticles protecting him, a sea of pressure was trying to swallow him. And the debilitating effects, too. He could still feel them as well. Weakening his grip, blurring his vision, numbing his mind, sucking the very breath out of his lungs--the very life out of his body.
But he reached him. Abbas’ armored hand found its target, and the suit still had enough power to clamp down on Ivan’s neck. His other hand arrived to help, and suddenly he had the leverage he needed. He didn’t need to think. His hands reacted on their own and tore the rest of Salesman’s head off his shoulders.
Immediately, the pressure lessened, and Abbas could sense himself again. His hands were still going to work, tearing the rest of the smote flesh from Ivan’s head, leaving only the bloody-and-hairy skull with the still-living brain inside.
Abbas had to consciously stop them.
He lingered there in the air, floating in place, still struggling to come back to himself. A few more blinks and he realized.
He’d won. The Salesman was incapacitated.
He almost couldn’t believe it. Theory was one thing, but to think that it had actually worked...
His whole body was trembling.
‘...I have captured the Salesman,’ Abbas reported in Valgan.
There came a long silence. Or at least, he thought there did. It might’ve been that he just didn’t catch what Worwal said.
‘Abbas...’ That seemed to be all the reaper had to say.