ending in a large pair of double doors on which were engraved the words:
* * *
The office of the chancellor of the republic.
Two more armed and armored Imperial soldiers stood guard at the doors.
The arc-shaped reception desk immediately before the lift—presumably the domain of the Chancellor’s secretary—sat empty, the secretary long gone.
Roon indicated the Chancellor’s office but did not move to exit.
“Darth Angral has commandeered the Chancellor’s office. He is expecting you.”
Malgus exited the lift and strode down the hall. The offices to either side of him stood empty, all of them showing signs of a hurried evacuation—spilled cups of caf, papers lying loose on the carpeted floor, an overturned chair. Malgus imagined the shock the occupants must have felt as they watched Imperial forces pour out of the sky. He wondered what Angral had done with the Senators and their staffs. Some, he knew, had been killed in the initial attack. Others had probably been executed afterward.
When he reached the end of the hall, the Imperial soldiers saluted, parted, and opened the doors for him. He stepped inside and the doors closed behind him.
Angral sat at the desk of the Republic’s Chancellor, on the far end of an expansive office. His dark hair, shot through with gray, was neatly combed, reminiscent of Roon Neele’s. Elaborate embroidery decorated the color of his cloak. His angular, smooth-shaven face reminded Malgus of a hatchet.
Art from various worlds hung on the walls or sat on display pillars—bone carvings from Mon Calamari, an oil landscape painting from Alderaan, a wood sculpture of a creature Malgus could not identify but that reminded him of one of the mythical zillo beasts of Malastare. An opened bottle of blossom wine sat on Angral’s