Hundreds of fires filled Malgus’s field of vision. A skyrise burned, a pillar of flame reaching for the heavens. Secondary explosions sent deep vibrations moaning through the ground. Malgus occasionally caught the sounds of distant, panicked screaming. A handful of Republic fighters got airborne but they were quickly swarmed by Imperial fighters and blown from the sky.
He opened a communications channel to Darkness, Angral’s command cruiser.
“Darth Angral, you have heard that the Jedi Temple is secure?”
The sound of a busy bridge served as background noise to Angral’s response. “I have. You have done well, Darth Malgus. How many warriors died in the assault?”
“Adraas did not tell you?”
Angral did not answer, merely waited for Malgus to answer the original question.
“Perhaps thirty,” Malgus said at last.
“Excellent. I will send a transport to pick up you and your men.”
“I would rather you wait.”
“Yes. I wish to see Coruscant burn.”
“I understand, old friend. I will ensure the bombers spare the Temple. For now.”
The channel closed and Malgus sat down cross-legged in the doorway of the Temple. Soon, several of the Sith warriors took station around him. Together, they bore witness to fire.
* * *
In less than half a standard hour, an Imperial medical transport cut through the smoke and flame and other Imperial ships that filled the sky to set down in a cloud of dust on the large processional outside the Jedi Temple. The two pilots, visible through the transparisteel of the cockpit, saluted Malgus.
A belly door slid open and two men in the gray-and-blue of the Imperial Medical Corps hustled down the ramp. Both carried cases of supplies and instruments and both had the soft physiques of men who—despite their warrior training—had