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Charmed Reloaded
6.09 A House Divided

[Scene: The Mather Corporation. Dr. Nichols is overseeing his guards dragging a blonde witch into a cell. He writes on a clipboard.]

Nichols: Nice work. What was her power?

Guard: Not sure, sir. She only defended herself with one of these knifes. (He holds up an athame.)

Nichols: (impatiently) That’s an athame, son. Did you not pay any attention during your training?

Guard: Sorry, sir. Do you want to have the witch interrogated?

Nichols: That won’t be necessary. Just prepare to burn her with the others.

(The guards nod. Dr. Nichols walks through the hall, revealing several cells containing captured witches. When he leaves the hall, a guard commander comes walking up to him.)

Commander: Sir, we have a situation.

Nichols: What is it, Brandt?

Brandt: Miss Payne is here, requesting to see you.

Nichols: Well, let’s find out what she wants.

[End Scene]

[Scene: Mather Corporation, a boardroom. Fiona is sitting at a table working on a laptop. Dr. Nichols enters.]

Nichols: Fiona, what a lovely surprise.

Fiona: (as she gets up.) Dr. Nichols. Let’s skip the pleasantries. I’ve been sent to evaluate the situation.

Nichols: Excuse me?

Fiona: While your technology has certainly proved its value, the board is not impressed with your results.

Nichols: Meaning what exactly?

Fiona: Meaning that as of this moment, I am taking charge. I will require full access and a personal lab.

Nichols: (bitterly) This is my project.

Fiona: It was. Now I am taking over and there are going to be some changes.

Nichols: Was this the plan all along? Letting me set up and then having you swoop in to take the credit?

Fiona: This is not about credit, doctor. It’s about our mission. My research has opened up new opportunities that the board wants to pursue.

Nichols: Other opportunities such as?

Fiona: A more humanitarian way to deal with the witch problem than these barbaric burnings.

Nichols: (after some consideration) I see. Well, the facility is all yours.

Fiona: Thank you, doctor. I knew you would understand. We’re all working toward the same goal, right?

Nichols: Right.

(Dr. Nichols walks away. As he walks down the hall, Brandt joins him.)

Nichols: Did you hear?

Brandt: Every word. She wants to stop the burnings. But these witches deserve to die. What do you want us to do?

Nichols: She’s not in control of this facility yet. Proceed as planned.

Brandt: And the Charmed Ones?

Nichols: I’m handling it.

Brant: What if Miss Payne finds out?

Nichols: Then take care of her.

(Brandt nods and walks away. Dr. Nichols enters his office and sits down behind his desk. He turns on his computer. On the screen are a set of scanned finger prints, linked to a file about Paige Matthews.)

Nichols: Your days of hiding are over, witch.

[End Scene]

-Opening Credits-

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, morning. Phoebe is lying in bed with the curtains closed. When she closes her eyes, memories of her confrontation with Derek surface. Her own voice echoes in her mind.]

Phoebe: You’re a hunter. You were playing me from the start. Come near me or my sisters again and I will kill you.

(Phoebe turns around in bed and another memory flashes before her eyes, this time with Cupid.)

Phoebe: Is it my destiny to never find true love? To always end up heartbroken? I can’t put myself through that again.

(Tears roll down her cheeks as she buries herself under her sheets.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: Derek’s apartment. A shirtless and sweaty Derek is taking his frustrations out on a punching bag. He is distracted by his phone. He sees a message from Fiona, requesting to see him. As he clicks it away, a picture of Phoebe pops up. He looks at it hesitantly, before putting his phone away and heading to the shower.]

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, the kitchen. Piper is feeding the twins in high chairs. Paige enters in a sport outfit and gets some coffee.]

Piper: Morning. Where are you going this early?

Paige: Morning. I joined this new age group. They do stuff like yoga and meditation in the park.

(Piper frowns at her.)

Paige: Don’t give me that look. Okay, so they’re a little tree-huggy, but I like it. It helps me relax and clear my mind.

Piper: Where did you find these people?

Paige: A friend in art class recommended it. And since this whole sabbatical thing was to help me rediscover myself, I figured I owe it to myself to try everything.

Piper: You’re right. I’m sorry, I won’t judge. Maybe you can take Phoebe.

Paige: I doubt it. Something is definitely going on. At first I thought she just had the flu or something, but I’m getting worried.

Piper: I know what you mean. I’ve tried talking to her, but she keeps shutting me out.

Paige: Did she and Derek break-up?

Piper: I don’t know, maybe. She hasn’t been to work in days, she barely leaves her room. Last time she was like this was after…

Paige: Cole. Okay, now I’m definitely worried. Should we go talk to her?

Piper: Let’s give her a little more time. Besides, I have to drop off the kids and go to the club and you have your… tree-huggers.

Paige: (as she rolls her eyes.) They’re not that bad. Okay some are, but most are alright. Are you sure we can leave Phoebe?

Piper: I think we should give her a little more time. She knows we’re here.

Paige: Alright, see you.

(Paige grabs an apple and kisses her niece and nephew goodbye before leaving. Piper starts cleaning up. She is startled when Charlie suddenly orbs in front of her.)

Piper: Geez, personal space much?

Charlie: I need to talk to you, all three of you.

Piper: Then you’re out of luck, Paige just left and I’m heading out too.

Charlie: Well, it will have to wait. I’m here on official Whitelighter business. Where is Phoebe?

Piper: She’s… preoccupied. Just tell me what is going on.

Charlie: Witches are going missing all over the city. We think they’re being taken.

Piper: Hunters?

Charlie: (nodding) But this isn’t like last time. It’s like they’re targeting every witch and practitioner in the city.

Piper: They’re preparing for something big.

Charlie: Exactly. And whatever it is, it’s going to be bad.

Piper: (determined) We knew it would come to this sooner or later. If they are really making their move, we need to stop them. Before they stop us.

Charlie: How?

Piper: I don’t know. Can you watch the kids? I need to talk to Phoebe.

(Piper walks away.)

Charlie: (sighing) So I’m back to being the nanny. (He picks up Melinda and pulls a sour face.) Oh god, and just in time for a diaper change. (The twins giggle.) I hate this job.

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell manor, upstairs. Piper walks down the hall and knocks on Phoebe’s door.]

Piper: Phoebe? (silence) We need to talk, it’s important.

Phoebe: It’s open.

(Piper goes in the bedroom and looks worried when she sees Phoebe lying in bed. She walks to the window and pulls the curtains open. Phoebe groans and pulls her sheet over her head. Piper sits down on the bed.)

Piper: Okay, talk to me.

Phoebe: I can’t.

Piper: What do you mean you can’t? You have literally told me everything since you first kissed Robbie Keller in sixth grade.

(Phoebe doesn’t respond.)

Piper: Did something happen between you and Derek?

Phoebe: I don’t want to talk about it.

Piper: Phoebe, you’ve been lying in this bed for three whole days now. You are really starting to freak me out. Last time you were like this was with…

(Piper becomes silent and Phoebe turns to face her.)

Phoebe: You were going to say Cole, weren’t you?

Piper: I was.

Phoebe: Figures. Do you think I’m cursed? That somehow all the mistakes I made with him have ruined my chance at happiness?

Piper: (concerned) Why would you say such a thing?

Phoebe: Piper, I literally became the queen of all evil. Perhaps this is my punishment, to never be able to find true love.

Piper: What happened with Derek?

Phoebe: I fell for it again. I let someone who wants to hurt us get close. I endangered all of us.

Piper: Sweetie, why would Derek…? (she hesitates) Unless… Phoebe, are you saying that Derek is evil?

Phoebe: No, I’m saying he’s a hunter.

[End Scene]

[Scene: The park. Paige parks her car and gets out. She opens the trunk to get her yoga mat, when Doctor Nichols walks up behind her.]

Nichols: Hello, miss Matthews.

(Paige turns around and Doctor Nichols stabs her in the neck with a syringe, injecting her with something. Paige stumbles back.)

Paige: (sluggish) You… what… what did you do?

Nichols: Don’t worry, it’s only a sedative. I have something far different planned for you.

(Paige tries to get away, but trips and passes out. Doctor Nichols picks her up and puts her in the trunk. At that moment, a jogger comes by and sees it happening. He comes running over.)

Jogger: Hey, what the hell?! Let go of her!

Nichols: (annoyed) I really wish you hadn’t seen that.

(Nichols turns around and reveals a gun, which he uses to shoot the jogger in the stomach. The jogger collapses and doctor Nichols gets in Paige’s car. He drives off. A woman sees the bleeding jogger and screams.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: Mather Corporation. Fiona is in her new office working on her computer. Derek enters.]

Fiona: Derek. Thank you for meeting me so soon.

Derek: I see you settled in quickly. I can’t image Nichols took it well.

Fiona: (as she gets up from her desk.) He was less than pleased, but I think he accepted it. I’m just waiting to get full access to all the facilities.

Derek: So why did you want to see me?

Fiona: As soon as I have full control of this company, I want to proceed to the next phase.

Derek: So you need the Charmed Ones.

Fiona: I believe they are the key to everything, yes. So are you ready to do your part?

Derek: (determined) I believe in our mission, Fiona. That never changed.

Fiona: And your feelings for Phoebe?

Derek: That’s none of your concern.

(Fiona is about to protest, when an alarm goes off on her computer. She walks over and checks the screen. A worried frown appears on her face.)

Derek: Is something wrong?

Fiona: I was getting tired of waiting to get access, so I hacked the system.

Derek: So what’s the problem?

Fiona: This.

(Fiona turns the computer screen around. On her computer, there is security footage of the captured witches, as well as footage of hunters preparing a stake in another room.)

Derek: (angrily) Nichols.

Fiona: He never intended to give me access. He plans to burn all these witches. It doesn’t have to be like this. My research…

Derek: We have to stop him.

Voice: I don’t think so.

(Derek and Fiona turn around and see Brandt entering with an aimed gun. Derek grabs Fiona and they duck behind the desk as Brandt begins firing. When he is out of bullets, he stops to reload.)

Derek: (angrily) What the hell are you doing, Brandt?

Brandt: Protecting our legacy. Our traditions.

Fiona: You’re loyal to Nichols, aren’t you? He wanted you to stall me, to keep me from finding out about the witches.

Brandt: He understands what needs to be done.

Fiona: We have a better way now.

Brandt: Only fire can cleanse the wicked.

Fiona: You can’t kill me. My father…

Brandt: Your father will believe what we tell him. That you were killed by witches. Then the entire council will see our way again.

(Brandt begins to circle the desk. Derek waits until he is near, then he throws the computer. Brandt ducks, though Derek uses the distraction to knock him out. He grabs the gun.)

Fiona: What now?

Derek: We don’t know who else is loyal to Nichols. We have to assume the entire company is against us.

Fiona: We have to find Nichols and end this.

Derek: (as he readies the gun.) Then let’s get a move on.

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, the living room. A tearful Phoebe is sitting on the couch, while a frustrated Piper is pacing and Charlie is standing by the clock.]

Charlie: Hold on, so you’re saying Derek is a hunter?

Piper: I think we’ve established that.

Charlie: Man, talk about bad ta… (Piper shoots him a warning look.) Never mind. So why would he infiltrate the paper and get close to you?

Piper: Obviously to find out more about us. Which means that the hunters know about us.

Charlie: So why haven’t they attacked?

Piper: They must be planning something. Phoebe, did Derek say anything? (Phoebe doesn’t hear her.) Pheebs!

Phoebe: (snapping out of it.) Sorry. He said killing me was never his mission. He said there was something between us.

Charlie: (rolling his eyes.) Oh come on…

(Piper flicks her wrist and freezes Charlie.)

Piper: That’s enough out of you for a while. (She sits down next to Phoebe.) Do you believe him?

Phoebe: I don’t know. I keep thinking about what Cupid said.

Piper: What?

Phoebe: That Eros was able to manipulate us for a reason. If he was able to manipulate the both of us, there must be mutual feelings.

Piper: Maybe he was right.

Phoebe: Piper, please. I can’t do this. I can’t go through the same thing I went through with Cole all over again. That love was tainted, and so is this.

(The doorbell rings.)

Piper: I’ll get it.

(Piper walks to the door and unfreezes Charlie as she passes him.)

Charlie: (annoyed) Hey, did you just freeze me?

(Piper opens the door and sees it’s Darryl. He looks worried.)

Piper: Darryl, what’s wrong?

Darryl: (as he comes in.) Is Paige here?

Piper: No she went to the park. I tried calling her but I guess her phone is off. Why?

Darryl: The park. Oh no, this is bad.

(Phoebe and Charlie enter the hall.)

Phoebe: What’s going on?

Darryl: There was an incident in the park. A jogger was shot at close range. He is going to make it, but his testimony has me worried.

Piper: How so?

Darryl: He said he witnessed a man abduct a young red-head. Apparently, he injected her with something and placed her in her own trunk. The description of the car matches Paige’s. With the hunters around, I feared the worst.

Phoebe: Oh my god.

Piper: Charlie, try sensing Paige. I’ll call her again.

(Charlie nods and closes his eyes. Piper tries calling Paige but it goes straight to voicemail. Charlie opens his eyes.)

Charlie: I can’t sense her anywhere.

Piper: And she’s not answering.

Phoebe: (concerned) What did the man look like?

Darryl: Middle-aged, white, pale blond hair.

Piper: That sounds an awful lot like that crazy doctor.

Charlie: Definitely the hunters then.

Phoebe: Then we know where we have to go for answers.

Piper: (worried) Are you sure?

Phoebe: (determined) I have to be, Piper. Paige’s life is at stake. Nothing else matters.

Darryl: I’m coming with you.

Piper: Good, we’ll take your car. We don’t have any time to waste. Charlie?

Charlie: Yeah, fine, I got the kids.

(Piper, Phoebe and Darryl rush out of the manor.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: A medical lab. Nichols is working on a computer while Paige is unconscious and tied to a metal table. There is some kind of collar around her neck. She slowly wakes up and Nichols turns to her. Paige notices an IV in her arm and a magic negating device in the corner.]

Nichols: Awake at last.

Paige: (scared) What the hell did you do to me?

Nichols: I took some of your blood for testing.

Paige: You shot that innocent.

Nichols: A necessary evil. But don’t act like you care, witch. I know your kind. We hunters exist to protect humanity from your wickedness.

Paige: You don’t know anything about us. If you did, you would understand that we’re on the side of good. If you truly want to protect humanity, you would side with us against demons.

Nichols: You witches do the devil’s bidding.

Paige: Seriously? For a man of science, you’re quick to pick up the torches and pitchforks.

Nichols: Anything to protect ourselves. It’s a shame that not all of us share that vision anymore.

Paige: Well, this was a lovely chat, but I’m afraid I can’t stay. That little box might block most of my powers, but I can still get out of here anytime I like.

Nichols: I’d reconsider that stance. Or didn’t you notice your new jewelry?

Paige: (confused) What? (She looks down and sees the collar, which has a blinking red light.) What is this?

Nichols: An explosive device, triggered by range. Move too far from the detonator and it explodes.

Paige: (uncertain) I could orb it off.

Nichols: You could try. But the moment you materialize out of range, the explosive will trigger. Do you want to bet your life on whether you’re fast enough?

Paige: Why are you doing this?

Nichols: I intend to purge the world of your evil. Down to the very last witch. Killing a Charmed One should make hunting the rest of your kind a lot easier.

Paige: My sisters will save me.

Nichols: I’m sure they will try.

[End Scene]

[Scene: Derek’s apartment. The door combusts and Piper walks in, followed by Phoebe and Darryl, who has his gun ready.]

Darryl: Can you keep it down?

Piper: Sorry, the time for subtlety is over.

Phoebe: He’s not here.

Darryl: Why do you think Derek can help us find Paige? If he is a hunter, he has no reason to.

Piper: I can be pretty persuasive. Let’s look around, maybe there is something here that will help.

(The sisters and Darryl begin to look around. When they hear a noise, they all look up.)

Darryl: Someone is coming.

(The sisters and Darryl take defensive positions. Since the door is damaged, Derek enters his apartment with his gun drawn, followed by Fiona. Darryl raises his gun.)

Darryl: Freeze!

Derek: I doubt this is a legal search, inspector.

Piper: Save it. We know everything, Derek. One wrong move and you’re a pile of dust.

Fiona: Piper Halliwell, I presume. I heard about your power. (She looks at the door.) And seen the result. However, there is no need to fight.

Piper: I strongly disagree.

Fiona: I understand your doubt, but I believe we share a common enemy for the moment.

Darryl: You’re talking about the guy that took Paige?

Derek: (surprised) Nichols took Paige?

Piper: Don’t pretend you didn’t know.

Fiona: We didn’t. Nichols has been keeping a lot of secrets. The men who are loyal to him tried to kill us just now.

Darryl: Why would hunters kill other hunters?

Fiona: There are different factions within our organization. Different methods, different goals.

Piper: But the same end game, killing witches.

Fiona: No, to end the threat of magic, which is a very different thing.

Piper: How so?

Fiona: I doubt either of us has the time to discuss this right now. We’re on the run and you have a sister in danger. Right now, we have a shared target.

Darryl: Nichols.

Derek: Exactly. So can we put the guns down?

Piper: (hesitantly) I don’t know. Phoebe?

(Everyone turns to Phoebe, who has been quiet this entire time. She looks at Derek with a hurt expression.)

Phoebe: How can you expect me to trust you?

Derek: You already know the only secret I had. (He holds out his hand.) See for yourself.

Phoebe: (After a moment of hesitation.) No, I’ve already seen enough. The most important thing right now is Paige. If we work together to stop Nichols, she is coming home with us.

Piper: As are any other witches you have captured. Those are our terms.

Darryl: Are you sure about this?

Phoebe: No, but the enemy of our enemy and all that.

Fiona: In that case, we have a deal.

Piper: So where do we find Nichols? I doubt he is hiding at your fancy office.

Fiona: (as she walks to the table to get Derek’s laptop.) He’s gone underground, but if I can hack into his personal files, I might find any hidden facilities.

Phoebe: I’ll wait outside. I need some space.

(Phoebe leaves the apartment. Derek wants to follow, though Piper steps in his way.)

Piper: Where are you doing?

Derek: To talk to her.

Piper: I think you’ve hurt her enough.

Derek: With all due respect, I think she can decide that for herself. She doesn’t need her big sister to hold her hand.

(Piper glares at him but then steps aside reluctantly. Derek leaves.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: Nichols’ secret lab. Dr. Nichols is looking at some results from a blood test. Behind him, Paige is still tied to the table with some electrodes attached to her. She cringes as she receives an electric shock. Nichols walks over to a computer and checks her vitals.]

Paige: What the hell are you doing?

Nichols: A simple stress test. With each surge, your body’s first instinct is to use magic. I’m trying to determine when and how it’s triggered.

Paige: You’re insane. Magic cannot be understood through science.

Nichols: You’re wrong. How do you think I invented my technology? I had to run endless tests.

Paige: And how many witches died in your sick experiments?

Nichols: (absentmindedly) I lost count… (His phone rings and he answers it.) Brandt, report.

Brandt’s voice: Miss Payne hacked the system. She knows everything. I tried to take her out, but she escaped with Grant.

Nichols: Where are they now?

Brandt: We got a tracker on them. What do you want us to do?

Nichols: The corporation has been compromised. Gather the witches and bring them to the black site. Once you’re here, we’ll end this.

Brandt: What about the traitors?

Nichols: Take them out. We can’t have our forces divided. The board will see that witches killed them. That should end any doubt about how to handle their kind.

Brandt: Understood sir.

(Nichols hangs up and looks at Paige.)

Paige: (disgusted) And you call us monsters.

[End Scene]

[Scene: Outside of Derek’s apartment building. Phoebe is standing on the sidewalk. Derek walks out. When Phoebe hears him come near, she wipes her tears.]

Derek: Can we talk?

Phoebe: We don’t have anything to talk about.

Derek: I want to explain.

Phoebe: (as she turns to him.) Explain what? How you infiltrated my life, spied on me, wanted to hurt me and my sisters?

Derek: I was only gathering information. I was never going to hurt you.

Phoebe: Well, you did.

Derek: I know. I never expected things would go this way. I didn’t account for the way I would feel about you.

Phoebe: Please don’t.

Derek: But you can’t deny there is something between us. I know you feel it too.

(He moves closer, but she takes a step back.)

Phoebe: There is no future here. We both know it. You’re a hunter. We will always be enemies.

Derek: We don’t have to be. There is another way. To end the threat of magic.

Phoebe: Magic is not a threat. It’s part of who I am.

Derek: Only a part. It doesn’t define you.

Phoebe: Yes it does. Magic is what I am. I have been given these gifts to help people. To fight evil. Why can’t you hunters understand that?

Derek: We do, at least some of us do. I don’t hate witches, but magic has no place in this world. It is a constant danger.

Phoebe: But witches are good. If you kill us, evil only grows stronger.

Derek: We believe eliminating magic from this world will end the threat.

Phoebe: (frowning) So your solution is to kill witches, in the hope that demons lose interest? Do you have any idea how crazy that sounds?

Derek: Is it any crazier than a constant battle between good and evil, where innocent humans always end up the victim?

(Phoebe falls silent.)

Derek: We don’t want to kill witches anymore, Phoebe. Through Fiona’s research, we have found a new way. One where nobody needs to die.

Phoebe: How?

Derek: Fiona thinks she’s found a cure.

Phoebe: (confused) A cure? To what?

Derek: Magic. A vaccine that rids witches of magic, making them human.

Phoebe: Magic is not a disease.

Derek: No, it’s a parasite. And it’s constantly claiming lives. I studied your history, Phoebe. Just think, without magic, your…

Phoebe: (interrupts him angrily) Don’t even go there.

Derek: I’m just trying to make you understand our point of view.

Phoebe: I do understand, but it’s based on prejudice and fear. You fear magic because you can’t understand it. So you seek to eliminate it. How many innocent lives have been lost due to that sort of reasoning?

Derek: (after taking a deep breath.) We are never going to agree on this, are we?

Phoebe: And that’s exactly why this could never work. No matter how we feel.

Derek: I wish things were different.

Phoebe: (saddened) Me too. We should get back to the others.

(Phoebe walks past Derek and he places a hand on her arm. As he touches her, Phoebe is sucked into a premonition. She sees a black van come around the corner at high speed. The side door opens and men with an automated guns begin firing. Derek is shot and falls down bleeding. Phoebe gasps as the premonition ends.)

Derek: What’s wrong?

(At that moment, the black van comes around the corner. Phoebe sees it and pushes Derek to the ground as the men begin firing. They take cover behind a car. The van passes them and hits the breaks.)

Derek: Those are Nichols’ men.

Phoebe: We need to warn the others.

(Derek and Phoebe get up and run inside as the hunters fire at them. Brandt gets out of the front of the van and orders his men to follow them.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor. Charlie is on the phone as he heads down the stairs.]

Charlie: The kids are fine, Piper. I was getting tired of babysitting, so I dropped them off at your dad’s.

Piper: Good, we’re going to need you on stand-by in case Paige is hurt.

Charlie: Got it. I’ll be ready. (He pauses.) In the meantime, got any food lying around? (Piper hangs up.) Fine, I’ll order in.

(Suddenly the door bursts open and armed hunters run in. Charlie begins to orb away, but is hit with tranquilizer darts before he can. He collapses. The hunters move in the manor and drag him away.)

[End Scene]

End Episode.