” Adraas said.
Staring into Adraas’s face, Malgus activated the detonator. A series of low booms sounded, starting deep within the Temple and drawing closer as the charges exploded in sequence and undermined the Temple’s foundation.
A strong gust of dust and loose debris blew out of the entrance. The explosions on the upper levels began, grew louder, fiercer. Stone cracked. Large chunks fell from the Temple’s facade and crashed to the ground. Flames were visible through the entrance. A whole series of explosions followed in rapid succession, the sound of the snapping spine of the Jedi Order.
The huge edifice, a symbol of the Jedi for centuries, began to fall in on itself. The towers collapsed in its wake, the huge spires crumbling as if in slowed motion. A jet of fire and bits of rock moving faster than the speed of sound exploded out of the now-collapsing entrance.
Instead of taking cover, Malgus fell into the Force, raised both of his hands, palms outward, and formed a transparent wall of power before himself and his warriors. His fellow Sith joined him, mirroring his gesture, mirroring his power. Rocks and debris pelted into the shared barrier, the speeding shrapnel of ruin. The jet of flame struck it and parted around it, water to a stone.
The Temple continued its slow demise, falling inward, shrinking into a shapeless mound of rubble and ruin. And then it was over.
A thick cloud of dust hung like a funeral shroud over the mountain of shattered stone and steel that had been the Jedi Temple. There could have been Jedi survivors in the Temple’s lower levels. Malgus did not care. They were either crushed or trapped forever.
“And so falls the Republic,” Malgus said.
The Sith around him cheered.
* * *
No one among the Republic delegation