facing the calm of the Jedi, the floor of the Temple the arena where centuries of indeterminate strife would at last reach a conclusion. Those strong in the Force would survive and their understanding of the Force would evolve. Those weak in the Force would die.

Malgus sought Master Zallow but could not make him out from the crowd of faces, dust, flames, and glowing blades. So he chose a Jedi at random from the crowd, a human male with a blue blade and a short beard, and targeted him.

Waves of power distorted the air and dopplered sound as the Jedi and Sith forces crashed into one another and intermixed in a chaotic, roaring tangle of bodies, lightsabers, and shouts.

Malgus augmented his strength with the Force, took a two-handed grip on his blade, and unleashed an overhand slash designed to split the Jedi in half. The Jedi sidestepped the blow and crosscut with his blue blade at Malguss throat. Malgus got his blade up in time, parried, and slammed a kick into the Jedis mid-section. The blow folded the Jedi in half, sent him reeling backward five paces. Malgus leapt into the air, flipped, landed behind him, and drove his blade through the Jedi. Roaring with battle lust, Malgus sought another opponent.

A flash of lavender skin drew his gazeEleena. She ducked under a saber slash and dived to her side, firing half a dozen blaster shots as she did so. The Padawan whod tried to kill her, a female Zabrak, the horns of her head gilt with colored pigments, deflected the shots as she closed in for another blow. Eleena flipped to her feet, still firing, but the Padawan deflected every shot and drew nearer.

Malgus drew on the Force and with a blast of power drove the Padawan across the hall and into one of the towering columns of stone, where she collapsed, blood

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