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Charmed Reloaded
6.11 Wiccan Ways

[Scene: San Francisco at night. A young man is running, screaming for help. As he enters an alley, a shadow is seen following him. The man reaches the end of the alley, where a large fence blocks his path. He turns and screams for help, but stops when he sees the shadow. Desperately, he tries to climb the fence. A grey hand with spiked knuckles grabs him and throws him across the alley. The hand moves into a coat and reveals an athame.]

Young Man: (Begging as he crawls back.) please, please….

(The figure heads for the man and the camera pans out as the man screams. A few moments later, the man lies dead in an occult symbol painted with his blood. The figure wipes his athame and puts it back in his coat before shimmering away.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: The Bay Mirror, the following day. Phoebe is sitting in a meeting with the other staff members, including Derek, as Elise presents something. Phoebe is deliberately trying to avoid looking at Derek.]

Elise: Alright, thank you all for your time. Now get moving, this paper isn’t going to fill itself.

(Phoebe quickly gets get up with the rest and tries to leave.)

Elise: Phoebe, can you stay for a moment? I need to talk to you. Derek, you as well.

(Phoebe reluctantly waits as the others leave. Elise closes the door.)

Phoebe: Elise, I’m a little busy.

Elise: It can wait. I wanted to talk about something.

Derek: Do you want me to wait outside?

Elise: No, this will only take a minute.

Phoebe: Is something wrong with my column?

Elise: No, not at all. In fact, your column has been getting good feedback recently.

Phoebe: So what did you want to talk to me about?

Elise: The paper has an annual media gala in a couple of days. I won’t be able to attend myself, so I want you to represent the Bay Mirror.

Phoebe: Me? Why?

Elise: Because your column is one of the best read sections of the paper, and people already know your face because of the photoshoot you did last year. It will be good press.

Phoebe: Okay, I guess.

Elise: Good, and remember to bring a date. The invite has a plus one and the gala people hate empty seats.

Phoebe: (hesitantly) Oh, I’m not really…

Elise: Relax, it’s just for show. I doubt you’ll have trouble finding some arm candy. (She stops and thinks.) Hold on, Derek, you’re single, right?

Derek: (stunned) Wha...

Elise: (contently) Yes, I think this will work. My star columnist and my best crime reporter. You two will turn quite some heads at the gala.

Phoebe: Elise, we’re not…

Elise: No, it’s settled. I’ll RSVP in your names. Now remember, you’re representing the paper, which means you’re representing me.

(Phoebe turns Elise around and moves her away from Derek. She whispers so he doesn’t hear.)

Phoebe: Elise, don’t you think this could be a little awkward?

Elise: Phoebe. Can’t you see I’m doing you a favor? I mean, you’re both single. (She looks over her shoulder.) Honestly, he’s smart, creative and have you seen those biceps? I mean, if I were a few years younger I’d…

Phoebe: (rolling her eyes.) And thanks for that mental image.

Elise: Oh, get over it. You’ll thank me later.

(Elise turns and smiles at Derek, who is waiting uncomfortably.)

Derek: So was this all you wanted to talk to be about?

Elise: Of course not. (She walks over to the table and picks up a folder.) This just came in from a source within the SFPD. Two murders last night with a possible occult connection. The cops are keeping it quiet for now, so I want a story before anyone else gets wind of this, got it?

Derek: Got it.

(Elise nods and leaves the room. Derek opens the file and looks at some pictures. Phoebe collects her stuff, but can’t help but take a peek. She sees the symbol.)

Phoebe: Oh god.

Derek: What? Do you know it?

Phoebe: No, but it clearly looks demonic.

Derek: (thinking) I would have suspected witchcraft.

Phoebe: (angrily) Of course. Who else could do something so horrible?

(Phoebe wants to leave, but Derek blocks her path.)

Derek: Wait, that’s not what I meant. It just slipped out. I’m sorry.

Phoebe: (calming down.) Alright.

Derek: Look, I’m trying here. Trying to see things for your perspective. Maybe you can help me figure this out?

Phoebe: You want to work together?

Derek: If you taught me anything, it’s that my view of witches may be prejudiced. (He holds out the photos.) Help me see it from your side.

(Phoebe hesitates, but accepts the photos. The moment she touches them, she is sucked into a premonition. She sees a woman screaming and running, a flash of bar sign spelling Oxygen, an athame being drawn, and the same occult symbol painted on a wall in blood. She gasps as the premonition ends.)

Derek: What just happened?

Phoebe: I just saw the next victim.

[End Scene]

-Opening Credits-

[Scene: P3 during the day. Piper is busy behind the counter cleaning glasses while on the phone. Behind her, a band is setting up on stage.]

Piper: Phoebe, slow down. What did you see?

Phoebe: A young woman being murdered at a club, and a weird occult symbol.

Piper: Wait, what club?

Phoebe: It was called Oxygen.

Piper: Oxygen? Those stupid hipsters have been stealing my customers for weeks. With their non-alcoholic drinks and their stupid house band.

Phoebe: Didn’t you just get a house band?

Piper: (hesitantly) I did, but for different reasons. Do you know how expensive headliners are?

Phoebe: Look, we’re getting off-topic here. Derek and I are going to check out the club tonight, can you find out what the symbol means?

Piper: I can’t. I’m busy. I got to get ready for tonight and I got that blind date coming by in a little while. I still can’t believe I let you talk me into that.

Phoebe: Piper, I’m talking about an innocent’s life here.

Piper: (guiltily) I know. Look, get Paige and Charlie on research duty and I will join them as soon as I get a chance.

Phoebe: Alright.

Piper: Hold on, did you just say you and Derek?

Phoebe: Yeah, we agreed to work together on this. It was his idea, and I figured it would be good to show him what we witches really do.

Piper: (hesitantly) Alright, just be careful.

Phoebe: I will, good luck with the blind date.

Piper: Thanks.

(Piper hangs up and continues cleaning the glasses. She in unaware of the fact that one of the guys from the band sat down at the bar.)

Guy: So a blind date, huh?

(Piper is startled and nearly drops a glass. She rolls her eyes and turns to him. It is a handsome guy with dark blond hair and a charming smile.)

Piper: Excuse me?

Guy: Sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear.

Piper: And you are?

Guy: Sorry, forgot to introduce myself. I’m Spencer, though you can just call me Spence. I'm the guitarist of the cheap house band you hired.

Piper: You heard that? (Pauses.) Wait, how long were you listening exactly?

Spence: Long enough.

Piper: (frowning) Can I help you with anything?

Spence: I’d like a water.

Piper: Fine. (Annoyed as she pours him a glass.) So are you all set up?

Spence: Almost, our sound guy is hooking up the equipment. So why a blind date?

Piper: Look, I don’t have to explain myself to you.

Spence: (shrugging) Okay fine. You just don’t seem the type who usually does this.

Piper: I’m not, my sister set me up.

Spence: Then why did you agree?

Piper: Because, with two kids and a business to run, I don’t have a lot of time for socializing with grown-ups. Now, if you’ll excuse me…

Spence: Maybe that’s for the best.

Piper: (annoyed) What is that supposed to mean?

Spence: Well, you’re not exactly the most chipper person, are you? You might want to work on that.

Piper: Yeah, and you should mind your own business, before I kick you out of mine.

(Piper walks away. Spence smiles and takes a sip of his water as he checks her out.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, the attic. Paige is sitting on the sofa, drawing something, while Charlie is flipping through the Book of Shadows.]

Paige: Anything?

Charlie: Yeah, about a billion weird occult symbols connected to demons. I need something more to go on.

Paige: Hold on. (She gets up and holds up her drawing, it is a rough sketch of the symbol.) Phoebe described it to me.

Charlie: Alright, let’s see.

(Charlie holds his hands over the book and they glow. The pages on the book flip by themselves at high speed. After a moment, the pages stop and the glow fades.)

Paige: How did you do that?

Charlie: Whitelighter trick. Have you never seen Leo use it?

Paige: (jokingly) No, I think he got lazy after Piper married him. (She walks over to the book.) So what have we got?

Charlie: (studying the book.) Uh, apparently it’s the symbol of a demon named Xavar.

Paige: Let me see. (Reading the entry.) Xavar is an upper-level demon whose power rivals the likes of Belthazor and the assassin Shax. He rose to infamy as a brutal mercenary, taking the lives of countless innocents, witches and rival demons alike. Centuries ago, Xavar was banished from the Underworld for reasons unknown.

Charlie: And now he’s back.

Paige: Yeah, but why now? And why is he killing random innocents if he’s a mercenary?

Charlie: Maybe the killings aren’t random.

Paige: We should let Phoebe and Derek know.

Charlie: I don’t the idea of her working with him. After what we’ve just been through with the hunters.

Paige: Well, Derek was on our side, and he ensured that the hunters loyal to Nichols were dealt with.

Charlie: Can you honestly say you trust him?

Paige: No, but I owe it to Phoebe to give him a chance.

Charlie: If you say so.

Paige: Look, can we just get back to the evil at hand? The entry says that Xavar can be vanquished with a Power of Three spell and a potion. Some of these ingredients are pretty rare, I don’t think we have them.

Charlie: Do you know where to get them?

Paige: I think most of these can be found in Chinatown. I’ll head over.

Charlie: What should I do?

Paige: Can you check in with the Elders? See if there is a reason why Xavar surfaced now?

Charlie: Sure.

(Charlie orbs out.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: The Bay Mirror. Phoebe and Derek are in Phoebe’s office, going through the files Elise handed Derek. Phoebe is behind her computer.]

Phoebe: I don’t see any connection between the victims. These attacks seems completely random.

Derek: Maybe it’s not about the victims, but the places. Where did the attacks take place?

(They check the files and Phoebe opens a map of the city on her computer.)

Phoebe: One was located near the park here, the other near the docks.

Derek: And the attack you saw in your vision? At Oxygen?

Phoebe: That would be here. (She points at the map.)

Derek: Three completely different places. No connection there either.

(Phoebe’s phone goes off. She checks it.)

Phoebe: Just got a text from Paige, the demon is named Xavar, a mercenary. No known agenda. She is out collecting ingredients for a vanquishing potion.

Derek: You’re really experienced with this, aren’t you?

Phoebe: Fighting evil? Yeah, it’s what we do. It’s our destiny.

Derek: How so?

Phoebe: Well, we are the Charmed Ones. Our ancestor prophesied the arrival of three witches destined to be the greatest force of good magic in the world. She was burned at the stake, by the way.

Derek: You see, that’s what my people don’t understand. That there is a difference between good and evil magic.

Phoebe: Do you?

Derek: (smiling) I’m starting to. I at least know that you’re a good person. You care about helping people, with your column and with magic.

Phoebe: (sensing some hesitation.) But?

Derek: But I can’t help but think that this world would be better off without magic. That this would be safer place.

Phoebe: But magic exists in this world whether you want it or not. Killing or depowering witches is not going to change that. Magic runs through the earth itself. Believe me, I’ve seen it.

Derek: Perhaps you’re right. I don’t think it will change how my people feel about it.

Phoebe: I don’t care. All I care about is how you feel. Do you think you could ever accept magic?

Derek: (hesitantly) I don’t know.

Phoebe: (disappointed) Alright. We should get going, it’s getting dark and the club will open soon.

(Phoebe grabs her stuff and leaves without waiting. Derek sighs frustrated at himself and follows.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: P3. Piper is sitting at the bar with her blind date, a boring-looking man in a suit. Unknown to them, Spence is observing them while rehearsing.]

Piper: So Ted, what do you do?

Ted: I work an accountant for the Bay Mirror. That’s how I met your sister actually. I helped her with some bills.

Piper: (frowning) Really?

Ted: Yes. It was quite an interesting story actually. You see, she was having trouble with some expenditures and I …

(Ted continues his story, though all Piper hears is blah, blah, blah. Time passes as she finishes her coffee and as her eyes glaze over. After a while, Spence puts his guitar down and walks over.)

Spence: Piper. Hi, sorry to bother you guys, but there seems to be a problem with the sound system.

Piper: What? I thought you...

(Spence gives her a look and Piper realizes what he means.)

Piper: Right, oh, that’s not good. (She turns to Ted.) I’m so sorry, Ted, I really need to get back to work.

Ted: No worries, I completely understand. It was lovely meeting you, Piper. I hope we can continue this another time.

Piper: (hesitantly) Yeah, I’ll give you a call.

(Cut to Piper saying goodbye to Ted by the stairs. Spence is standing by the bar with a drink as Piper walks toward him.)

Spence: Your sister must hate you.

Piper: I’m sure she meant well. I guess he was a perfectly nice guy.

Spence: (smirking) Come on. I’ve met potted plants with more charisma.

Piper: You really like to judge people, don’t you? You were sure quick to judge me.

Spence: Look, I’ve performed at a lot of bars. Most people are easy to read. That guy is definitely not right for you. Too bland. So, don’t I get a thank you?

Piper: (frowning) For what? Budding into my personal life? Twice? I don’t think so. (She grabs her stuff.) Now I need to get going. I need to have a serious talk with my sister.

(Piper leaves.)

Spence: (amused) Interesting.

[End Scene]

[Scene: The bar Oxygen. There is a line outside as Phoebe and Derek arrive.]

Derek: Should we go in?

Phoebe: No, the attack happened outside. I think we should just hang back and wait.

Derek: What did the woman look like?

Phoebe: Blond, pretty, tight dress.

Derek: (as a group of blond women walk past them.) That doesn’t narrow it down much around here.

Phoebe: Enjoying the view?

Derek: Blondes are not my type.

(Phoebe smiles faintly. She spots a coffee shop across the street.)

Phoebe: Maybe we go there. We can get some coffee while we wait for our demon to show.

Derek: Sure.

(Cut to Phoebe and Derek sitting at a table near the window, giving them a view of the club. They are both silent as they wait.)

Phoebe: I always hate the waiting.

Derek: You guys do this a lot?

Phoebe: As much as is needed. My premonitions always guide me to innocents.

Derek: Do they hurt?

Phoebe: Sometimes. I see and feel what they do.

Derek: Seems like a burden.

Phoebe: It’s difficult, but it’s worth it if I can save a life.

Derek: (distantly) That’s what I tell myself.

Phoebe: Have you ever… killed a witch?

Derek: I helped capture them, sent them to the council to be judged. I knew what would happen to them.

Phoebe: But you never…?

Derek: Once. A witch who threatened the life of a little girl. She tried to use the girl to escape.

Phoebe: Maybe she was desperate. If she was being hunted…

Derek: She had already killed the rest of the family in some kind of dark ritual.

Phoebe: (disturbed) Oh.

Derek: I believe you and your sisters are good people, Phoebe. But not all witches are like you.

Phoebe: There are good and evil witches, Derek. Just like there are good and evil humans.

Derek: I know. But your magic makes you that much more dangerous if you ever cross that line.

Phoebe: I… (She falls silent as she sees a woman leaving the club.) That’s her.

(Derek and Phoebe look at the woman. She is leaving the club while on the phone. She is in tears. To get some privacy, she enters the alley.)

Derek: Let’s move.

(Derek and Phoebe run after her.)

(Cut to the alley. The blond woman is talking on the phone. Unknown to her, Xavar shimmers in behind her. He has dark grey skin and two rows of spikes grow out of his head. Spikes are also growing out of his jaw. The demon reaches into his coat and grabs an athame. He moves closer and the woman hears him. She turns and screams. Phoebe and Derek run into the alley.)

Phoebe: Hey!

(Xavar turns and surprised. Derek reveals a gun and shoots the demon in the chest three times. He stumbles back. Phoebe runs to the woman.)

Phoebe: Quick, get out of here. Run!

(The woman runs and Phoebe turns to Xavar. Bullets don’t affect him as he moves toward Derek. Derek reaches into his jacket and pulls out a stunner. He uses it on Xavar, though he shrugs it off. He punches Derek, sending him flying across the alley.)

Phoebe: Derek!

Xavar: (as he turns to her.) Witch. You shouldn’t have come.

(Xavar throws an Energy Ball at Phoebe, who levitates to avoid it. Xavar growls and heads toward her as she lands. Phoebe spins and kicks the athame out of his hand. She then kicks him in the chest. He falls back.)

Phoebe: I know you’re a mercenary. Who hired you? Why these innocents?

Xavar: You know nothing. You’re blind to what is happening.

Phoebe: What do you mean?

Xavar: You will see. When she makes her move, it will be too late.

(Before Phoebe can react, Xavar shimmers away. Phoebe runs over to Derek and helps him up.)

Phoebe: Are you okay?

Derek: I think he cracked a rib. He is a though son of a bitch.

Phoebe: What were you thinking? Guns don’t work on demons.

Derek: I needed to distract him so you could get the girl out of here.

Phoebe: Well, she is safe. At least that’s some good news.

Derek: But the demon is gone. And we have no way to find him now.

Phoebe: (seeing the athame lying on the ground.) I wouldn’t be so sure.

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, the kitchen. Piper and Paige are brewing the vanquishing potion, while Charlie is healing Derek’s cracked rib. Phoebe walks in with a map and scrying crystal, holding the demon’s athame. Charlie finishes healing Derek.]

Derek: Thanks.

Charlie: (sarcastically) No problem. It’s not like your people tried to kill us or anything.

Phoebe: Charlie please. We got more important things to worry about. (She turns to her sisters.) How is the potion coming along?

Paige: It’s almost done. Luckily, I was able to find all ingredients before the stores closed.

Piper: Is that the athame?

Phoebe: (nodding.) We should we able to scry for him with this. We’ll make sure he doesn’t harm anyone else.

Paige: Okay, am I the only one worried about his ominous warning?

Phoebe: (repeating Xavar.) “When she makes her move, it will be too late.”

Derek: What does it mean?

Phoebe: I don’t know, but whoever she is, Xavar was obviously afraid of her.

Piper: Did the Elders have anything useful to say?

Charlie: (glaring at Derek.) Well, I’m not sure this information should be shared with everyone, but the Elders have detected an increase in demonic activity in the Underworld.

Paige: What kind of activity?

Charlie: They think a new power is rising, which may be the reason Xavar surfaced. He was banished once before. This new power could be a threat to him.

Piper: So the “she” he was talking about could be this new power.

Derek: That still doesn’t explain why he is targeting random mortals.

Phoebe: No, but I have a theory. Certain demons can claim territory by marking it with the blood of the innocent. I think that’s what Xavar is doing. If he can successfully claim a territory, it will grant him protection.

Paige: That’s why he is leaving his symbol in strategic places.

Piper: Let me guess, he is forming a pentagram.

Phoebe: That should give us two possible locations. I’ll mark them on the map.

(Phoebe puts the map on the counter and marks the attack locations. She then draws a pentagram, revealing two more locations.)

Derek: We should have seen it sooner.

Paige: We see it now. We can stake out one location and keep scrying for him in case he shows up at the other.

Piper: Sounds like a plan. Let’s finish the potion.

[End Scene]

[Scene: An empty parking lot. Derek is standing behind a pillar, while Charlie is in a similar position on the other side. The sisters are hiding behind a car. Paige is holding a bag. Phoebe is sitting on the floor. In one hand, she holds the athame, while she uses the other to scry.]

Paige: Let’s hope we guessed right.

Piper: You can orb us over in a second if we’re wrong.

Phoebe: I don’t think we’re wrong.

Charlie: (calling over.) Guys, someone is coming.

(The sisters become quiet as a middle-aged couple leaves the elevator. At the same time, the scrying crystal drops to the map.)

Phoebe: He’s here.

(Piper leans to her side and freezes the innocents with one hand. Just then, Xavar shimmers in behind them.)

Piper: Now!

(Charlie orbs in behind the innocents and orbs them away. At the same time, Derek comes out from behind the pillar and shoots Xavar.)

Xavar: (unimpressed) Haven’t you learned?

Derek: I did. I brought reinforcements.

(The sisters step out from behind the car. Piper flicks her hands and blasts Xavar in the chest. He is thrown back. He angrily throws an energy ball, though Paige deflects it with a wave of her hand, hitting the hood of a car, causing it to explode.)

Paige: (holding out the bag she is carrying.) Crystals.

(Five crystals orb out of the bag and form a circle around Xavar. A crystal cage traps him.)

Piper: You’re not the only one who can make a pattern.

Xavar: You damn witches. Just get it over with then.

Phoebe: No, first we want some answers. Who are you running from?

Xavar: I have nothing to say.

Paige: (holding out a crystal.) We can get it out of you.

Xavar: You can try. Pain means nothing to me. I have nothing left to lose.

Phoebe: Who is “she”? Why are you so afraid of her?

Xavar: You ignorant witches. (Looking at Derek.) Fighting your petty battles with the mortals. Did you really think the Underworld would sit still and wait?

Piper: We know about the new power.

Xavar: New power? You truly know nothing. The power that has risen is not new. It is old, very old. She has waited a long time to return.

Phoebe: Who?

Xavar: I knew her once. I worshipped her, but I betrayed her, tricked by another who usurped her throne. Now she is back for vengeance. She is known as the m...

(Before Xavar can finish, he suddenly doubles over in pain. He screams as fire rises from his feet and consumed him. A powerful explosion destroys the cage and throws the sisters and Derek back. When the smoke clears, several car alarms are going off. The sisters and Derek get up.)

Phoebe: We need to get out of here.

(Paige nods and quickly orbs them away.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: Halliwell Manor, later that night. The sisters are sitting on the couch with hot tea.]

Piper: Well, that was interesting.

Paige: More like troubling. What kind of evil are we dealing with if she could vanquish him without even being there?

Phoebe: The worst kind. And whatever she has planned, it cannot be good.

Piper: We will cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, I’m happy that we stopped Xavar from killing any more innocents.

Paige: Agreed. If we keep worrying about every evil out there, we’ll never get to live our lives.

Phoebe: Speaking of living our lives, Piper, how was the blind date?

Piper: (glaring at her) Are you kidding me?

Phoebe: What? Ted is a really sweet guy.

Piper: Come on, he was boring. I almost fell asleep until…

Paige: Until what?

Piper: Until I got a little unwanted help from a nosy guitarist.

Phoebe: Oh, was he cute?

Piper: (defensively) No, he wasn’t cute. He was rude and obnoxious. And okay, perhaps he was sort-of good-looking, but he was mostly just rude.

Paige: (smiling) Sounds like someone has a little crush.

Piper: Definitely not.

(Phoebe and Paige laugh and an annoyed Piper walks away.)

[End Scene]

[Scene: The Bay Mirror. The following morning. Phoebe walks up to Derek’s office and sees he’s working. She knocks.]

Phoebe: Busy?

Derek: Just coming up with a good spin for what happened. Elise wanted a story, so I’m giving it to her.

Phoebe: Good, these killings shouldn’t be swept under the rug.

Derek: It won’t make it easier for those left behind, but at least they’ll have some answers. (Pauses.) So has what happened changed anything between us?

Phoebe: (As she sits down.) You tell me. Do you still think witches are dangerous?

Derek: I think you’re mostly dangerous to demons. People were killed, but it could have been a lot worse without you and your sisters.

Phoebe: It’s what we do.

Derek: I see that now. We hunters always believed that witches brought evil into this world, but the truth is, that evil is out there without or without you. You make it better.

Phoebe: I’m glad you’re starting to understand.

Derek: And I will do my best to make the others understand. Can’t make any promises on that part.

Phoebe: I understand.

(Phoebe gets up, ready to leave.)

Derek: So what does this mean for us?

Phoebe: I think it means we have a chance. (Smiling.) So I guess you need to get a tux. After all, you have a gala to take me to in a couple of days.

(Phoebe winks and Derek smiles as she heads out the door.)

[End Scene]

End Episode.