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Written by: Cameron Litvack
Transcribed by: Janelle Hackbarth

Season 8, Episode 14
Episode Number: 170

[Scene: Sacred Garden, one year ago. A staff levitates high inside a purple force field while six Chinese men, the Zodiacs, keep the shield up. Some demons throw fireballs at the force field, and it does nothing. The lead demon steps out.]

Lead Demon: Enough! Stop!

(The force field falls. Dog steps forward.)

Rooster: Each year you try, each year you fail. Wresting the staff from sacred hands is the goal of a fool, Novak.

Dog: And we will always protect the eternal cycle. You should know that by now.

'Novak:' Expect to do that you have to be lucky every year. To get it, I only have to be lucky once.

(Novak throws a fireball, hitting the banner in the back. He and the demons shimmer out.)

[Scene: Manor, attic, present day. Piper is making a potion. Phoebe walks in carrying something.]

'Phoebe:' Or did I give this to you? I can’t remember. (Piper picks up a book.) Hello…earth to Piper.

(Piper sees her holding her TIVO.)

Piper: Hey, that’s my TIVO. You can’t take that.

Phoebe: I’m not…taking. I’m asking. And are you sure it’s yours, because it has all my season passes on it.

Piper: Whatever. Just take it. I don’t have time to watch anything anyway except for SpongeBob.

(She puts the book down and picks up another. Phoebe puts the TIVO down on the table.)

Phoebe: Where are my beautiful nephews anyway?

Piper: Dad is taking them to Marine Land.

Phoebe: Really? Oh, that’s great. Cool.

Piper: No, it’s not. I should be taking them to Marine Land. You know, their mother.

Phoebe: Well, why aren’t you?

(Piper sighs.)

Piper: Because I have to defrost my husband somehow.

Phoebe: Right. Any leads?

Piper: No, but I’m hoping to find some by magically divining for them, but it’s not working.

Phoebe: Well, what is it supposed to do?

Piper: It’s supposed to give me some sort of sign, pick up some magical chatter about what we’re up against.

Phoebe: Sounds like a stretch.

Piper: Well, you know, you work with what you got.

Phoebe: You know, maybe if you took a little break.

Piper: No, I don’t need a break. I need to find out who we’re up against so we’re prepared.

Phoebe: Okay. Then I should help you.

Piper: No, no, no. I don’t want to drag you back into this. I want you to go to your new place and enjoy it and enjoy your new life.

Phoebe: Yeah, but, Piper, I’m not...

Piper: No buts! I have the same speech to Paige. This is not your burden to bear. It’s mine.

Phoebe: Yeah, but you can’t do it by yourself.

Piper: No. You’re right, I can’t. And when the battle to end all battles happens, I will call you. Now, this goes in your car.

(Piper gives Phoebe the TIVO. She leaves. Phoebe follows.)

Phoebe: Piper, wait!

(There’s a small explosion at the cauldron. A Chinese character is in the center.)

Opening Credits

[Scene: Phoebe’s Loft. Phoebe hangs something on the bedroom wall. She admires it when the doorbell rings. She heads toward the door.]

Phoebe: Coming! (She opens it to find Billie holding a potted plant.) Hi!

'Billie:' Housewarming gift!

(Phoebe takes the plant.)

Phoebe: Oh, Billie, you’re such a sweetie.

Billie: Oh, look at you. Styling in the city. Can you believe it?

Phoebe: Actually, I can’t. (She closes the door.) It’s so amazing. I keep knocking on the bathroom door just out of habit.

(Billie sits on the couch. Phoebe puts the plant on the coffee table.)

Billie: Yeah, but you must love it.

Phoebe: I haven’t been in here long enough to love it, but I will. Even though I’ll miss my sisters…and my nephews.

Billie: Yeah, but not the demons.

Phoebe: They’ll find me here. Trust me. Speaking of which, how’s the search going?

Billie: Ah, it’s not really going. I had a little bit of a brain freeze, so I just wanted to let it go for a bit. Do you want to go to the movies?

Phoebe: I would love to, but I need to stay here, settle in, unpack, maybe meet the neighbors. (She picks up and hugs a throw pillow.) Just get used to being alone.

Billie: Yeah, I know what you mean.

(She doesn’t move.)

Phoebe: Okay. Hey, do you know anything about magically divining?

Billie: Are you kidding? Tons, why?

Phoebe: Well, Piper is trying to do it, but hasn’t been successful for her and she thinks it’s the key to finding Leo. So, I don’t know, maybe you could help her?

Billie: Oh, yeah, totally. I could help her.

Phoebe: Now?

Billie: Oh…oh, yeah, okay.

(She gets up.)

Phoebe: Great.

Billie: All right.

Phoebe: That’s so sweet. She’ll really appreciate it. Thanks. Thanks for the plant. Bye. Stop by anytime. (Billie leaves and Phoebe closes the door. Paige orbs in. Phoebe gasps.) Paige, you scared me.

'Paige:' Well, you told me I could stop by anytime.

Phoebe: Yeah. I meant like a normal person. You know, knock first. (Paige orbs out. Phoebe groans.) Oh, Paige, don’t be like that.

(There’s a knock on the door. Phoebe opens it to find Paige.)

Paige: Is that better?

Phoebe: Much. Thank you.

(Paige steps in.)

Paige: Okay, here’s my thing. All right? Uh, I’m just completely freaking out about this whole magic thing.

Phoebe: Freaking out how?

Paige: I told him, you know, about the whole big secret thing thinking it would bring us closer, and it’s kind of pushing us father apart.

Phoebe: He’s probably just overwhelmed, you know?

Paige: Yeah, I’m sure he is. He keeps asking me all these questions, and they’re valid questions, you know. Why aren’t we using our powers to bring about world peace or end poverty or famine? He’s not getting that it’s not that easy.

Phoebe: Well, just be patient with him. And maybe try not to explain it from a magical perspective. You know, try to use terms that he understands. You know, keep it simple.

Paige: Hmm…I think I might do that. Thank you. Can I orb?

Phoebe: Yes, please. (Paige orbs out. Phoebe takes a deep breath.) Oh…free at last. (The doorbell rings.) Now what?

(She opens it to find a cute guy.)

Cute Guy: Hi, uh, I just wanted to RSVP for the housewarming party.

(Phoebe smiles.)

[Scene: Magic School, Great Hall. Demons carry in a large crypt. They put it down and slide off the top. Inside is Novak.]

'Demon1:' It’s time.

(Novak opens his eyes and shimmers to a sofa, sitting down and putting his feet up.)

'Novak:' Where am I?

'Demon1:' Magic School. Demons control it now. Much has changed in a year, Novak.

'Novak:' When’s the ceremony?

(Novak stands up.)

'Demon1:' Tonight. But after decades of trying, this time you’ll finally be able to wrest control of the staff from the zodiacs.

Novak: I better. I tire of conserving my strength for this one chance every year. Are you tracking Rooster?

'Demon1:' No. Lo Pan.

Novak: You’re supposed to be following the zodiac before he hands it off. Not some lowly servant.

'Demon1:' But that servant is responsible for where the hand-off occurs. He alone knows the location of the sacred garden. Rooster will be the first to arrive. And when he does, we’ll be waiting for him.

(Novak smiles.)

[Scene: Manor, attic. Billie is making potions by an open Book of Shadows as Piper enters.]

Piper: Billie, what are you doing up here?

Billie: Oh. Helping you out. Phoebe sent me. You know, I went over to her new place, and she just wanted to be alone, and I was just getting all in there, putting my feet on everything, wanting to hang out, but she sent me here.

Piper: Whoa…tangent. Don’t you have your own demons to slay?

Billie: Yeah, but I’m kind of tired of my obsession, so I thought I would join in on yours. You know, misery loves company.

Piper: Mm-hmm. So, what are you doing?

Billie: I’m grinding up payatha root. You know, I don’t think you used enough. Divinations can be very, very temperamental. You have to use just the right amount if you want to catch any cosmic signals.

Piper: You know, you’re getting pretty good at this.

Billie: Well, I had good teachers. All right. Let’s see if you missed any signs. Stand back. (They do. She tosses in something. A cloud of white smoke poofs from it, as there is a second explosion. There’s a burning Chinese character inside.) Bingo.

[Scene: Dry cleaners. The Chinese symbol is on the window. Piper and Billie look at it.]

Piper: Are you sure this is right?

Billie: I backtracked the sign all the way to here, but I was thinking more of a Buddhist temple, not some same-day laundry.

Piper: Maybe we should just forget it.

(Billie takes her arm and pulls her inside.)

Billie: No, we were brought here. Come on, Piper. The sign brought us for a reason.

Piper: Listen. I’m supposed to be the mature and wise one, so knock it off.

(Billie hits the bell on the counter. A Chinese man in the back puts a package down and comes over to them.)

'Chinese Man:' May I help you? You’re here for pick-up?

Piper: Uh, no. Actually, we were just admiring your sign out front.

Chinese Man: Oh, the eternal cycle. It represents the sacred chain of life. Have you seen it before?

Piper: That’s why we’re here.

Chinese Man: I see. So, you have an interest in signs?

Piper: Yeah. Gemini, Libra, Leo.

Chinese Man: Uh, are you sure you don’t mean monkey, rooster, or tiger, like your friend here?

Billie: Excuse me?

Piper: Chinese zodiac, right?

Chinese Man: You’ve answered my call, and not a moment too soon.

Piper: Uh, no. I think we’ve got our wires crossed somehow, ‘cuz, I’m just looking to save a husband.

Chinese Man: And now you’re here to help save us all. (There’s a noise from the back.) But you must hurry now or all will be lost.

(He goes into the back. Piper and Billie follow him. He stops as another explosion is heard. He then steps into a wall hanging and vanishes.)

Billie: Whoa, what was that?

Piper: Forget it, Jenkins. It’s Chinatown.

(She takes Billie’s hand and they step into the wall hanging. They follow the Chinese Man and find one of the Zodiacs being attacked by a group of demons. He’s hit by an energy ball and falls into the pond. Novak heads for the staff the Zodiac was holding.)

Chinese Man: Don’t let him get the staff!

(Billie telekinetically moves the staff away.)

Billie: (to Piper) Your turn.

(Piper blasts him. Novak shimmers out with his demons. Chinese Man rushes over to check on the Zodiac. He kneels down, but the Zodiac turns into white light, then vanishes.)

Chinese Man: This has never happened before. A zodiac dying. (to Piper) It’s now on you to protect the staff.

(Piper raises her eyebrows.)

Commercial Break

[Scene: Sacred Garden.]

Piper: Look, really, Mister, no offense, but I’m just trying to save my husband. Not some stick.

(Chinese Man stands up.)

Chinese Man: This is not a stick. It is Buddha’s mystical staff. And it must be passed to the next zodiac at the New Year or the eternal cycle ends.

Billie: All right. Before we hit exposition city here, what’s with the laundry on the outside and then, this crazy green place on the inside?

Chinese Man: This sacred garden has served for centuries as the sanctuary for the ceremonial passing of the staff. It has been my family’s honor to find a place for its existence each and every year.

Piper: So, it’s just my luck that a demon tries to take it this year?

Chinese Man: Not just this year. He’s been trying for many years, when it is vulnerable as it is now. That is why I sent out the call for help. And that is why you came.

Piper: No, really, seriously, I was looking for something totally different.

(He smiles.)

Chinese Man: You must be a buffalo.

Piper: Excuse me?

Billie: I think he’s talking about your sign.

Piper: Hang on a second. She gets a tiger and I’m some stinking buffalo?

(He walks over to the staff, hanging in mid-air.)

Chinese Man: If you know the zodiacs, you know we do not choose who we are born to. Each influences us with different gifts to keep the eternal cycle ends. And it won’t be the zodiacs who influence, but evil instead. Not a world your husband would want to be saved for, I trust.

Piper: All right. What would you like us to do?

Chinese Man: Protect the staff until it is passed to the new zodiac. But you must be of clear mind so as not to unduly influence those around you with your personality.

(Billie scoffs.)

Billie: I’m sorry. I’m just imagining a lot of obsessing.

Piper: Uh-huh. That’s cute. That’s very cute.

Chinese Man: You must leave before they come back. Use all of your power to protect it if you have to.

Billie: Maybe you should call Paige and Phoebe.

Piper: You better believe it. Do you know anything about this demon?

Chinese Man: No, but I have a record of his past attacks.

Billie: Well, I could look at them, maybe figure something out.

Chinese Man: Perhaps you’ll find out something about yourself along the way, Billie.

Billie: How do you know my name?

Chinese Man: This is a magical place, one where questions will have answers. If you’re open to it. You’ll see.

(Piper chuckles.)

Piper: So, when does this ceremony begin?

Chinese Man: At midnight.

(The hourglass has the falling sand.)

Piper: Naturally.

(She grabs the staff.)

[Scene: Magic School, Great Hall.]

'Demon1:' The staff is lost. We have no choice but to wait another year.

Novak: We’re not waiting. Why should we?

Demon1: Because the witches…

Novak: Merely delayed the inevitable. After all, progress has been made. Unprecedented progress. A zodiac is dead which means they as a whole are weakened. And the staff is out of sacred hands for the first time ever.

Demon1: Still, now they know we’re coming.

Novak: They always know we’re coming. You underestimated Lo Pan. Do not…underestimate me.

Demon1: With all due respect, the servant won’t keep the staff in the garden now. Not until the hand-off. We’ll never find it in time.

Novak: We won’t have to. The zodiacs will find it for us. We’ll let it be know what’s happened – what Lo Pan’s done. They’ll come out of hiding to get their precious staff back. Trust me.

Demon1: So, then all we have to do is track them.

Novak: See? Progress.

[Scene: Manor, conservatory. Paige leads Henry in.]

Paige: All right, Henry, I have to say I’ve been doing some thing.

'Henry:' About what?

Paige: Well, here’s the deal. I have a plan…you know, for us.

Henry: I thought we were doing pretty well.

Paige: Yeah, definitely, except for, you know, when the M word kind of comes up. Things start getting a little bit, uh...

Henry: Weird.

Paige: Yeah, exactly. But everything else is obviously going well. You’re even finishing my sentences. But, um… (She sees the kids toys.) Uh! Okay, step into my office. Have a seat.

(He points down.)

Henry: On this?

Paige: Yes. You can fit. I’m pretty sure.

(She sits in the child’s chair next to him in front of an easel. She takes a pen and flips a sheet of paper.)

Henry: Barely.

Paige: Okay... stay with me here. You deal with criminals. (She draws a stick figure with a gun.) Okay? Drug dealers, burglars, murderers. (She draws another figure using magic.) Me? I deal with demons. Kazis, creepers, gremlocks. I could go on and on. But the point is, we’re very similar. Criminals bad, demons bad.

Henry: Is it snack time yet, Miss Matthews?

Paige: Henry.

Henry: Look, I know what you’re trying to say, okay? But, what I don’t understand is if you have all these powers, why you don’t use them.

Paige: I do use them.

Henry: No, no, no. Not on demons. I’m talking about hunger. I’m talking about the poor, the homeless. My criminals, my bad guys.

Paige: It’s really, actually, not that simple.

Henry: But why? Who says? I’m not trying to make you feel bad, okay? I don’t understand. If there’s magic in the world, why you don’t use it to just save the world. (His phone rings. He checks the idea and Paige rolls her eyes.) (to Paige) This is the second one. I have to take this. We’ll figure it out later.

(Henry stands up, kisses her on the forehead and steps away.)

Paige: Yeah…that went swimmingly.

Henry: Yeah. This is Henry...

(Piper enters with the staff.)

Piper: Paige, great, you’re here. (She sees the drawing. The staff glows behind her back, infusing Paige.) What’s this?

(Paige stands.)

Paige: The answer to my problems.

Piper: Well, we have bigger problems, trust me. Buddha’s staff—the demons want it, we need the Book.

Paige: Sorry. No can do. I have to help Henry.

Piper: No, no, no. Hang on a second. Whoa. I thought the words Buddha and demons would give you the hint that I need your help.

(Paige shakes her head.)

Paige: No, not really. Bye. I have to help Henry now.

(She leaves.)

Piper: But—but—what... (To staff) What are you looking at?

(The front door closes.)

[Cut to Sacred Garden. Billie goes through papers. Chinese Man comes over with a tea tray.]

Chinese Man: Any luck?

Billie: Are you kidding? I can’t make sense of any of this stuff.

Chinese Man: That’s because you’re using your eyes and not your powers.

Billie: How can telekinesis help me?

Chinese Man: I’m talking about your other power. The one you have yet to master. The one you need to master if you truly want answers.

Billie: Answers? You mean to help me find the demon?

Chinese Man: And to finding your sister. I told you this place was magical.

Billie: Yeah, and a little creepy.

(He chuckles and sets the tray down.)

Chinese Man: We are all led to where we need to be, Billie. And so you have been led here. But before you can help the eternal cycle, you must help yourself.

Billie: Okay, so what can you tell me about Christy?

Chinese Man: I can tell you nothing. Only Christy can tell you about Christy. And only you have the power to seek those answers.

Billie: But I can’t even control my projection power. I haven’t even used it since I knew I had it. The sisters think it’s way too dangerous.

Chinese Man: When used out of control, yes.

Billie: So? Can you help me control it?

(Chinese Man nods and holds out his hand.)

Chinese Man: Come. (He helps her up and takes her to a dying tree.) That pejing tree is a simple living creatures within the world surrounding us. And like all things, it follows a cycle. And it’s nearing its end. But you have the power to see its cycle at the beginning again. To project what you will upon it. Focus on the tree, Billie. Reach within yourself, to your power. (Billie closes her eyes.) See what you want to see. (The tree becomes young again. He smiles.) Look.

(Billie opens her eyes and gasps.)

Billie: I did that?

Chinese Man: And you can do more than that. You can see your sister.

[Scene: Manor. Piper comes downstairs and looks around.]

Piper: Hello?

(She starts to go back upstairs.)

Voice: The staff belongs to us.

(Dog, a Zodiac, stands at the foot of the stairs.)

Piper: And you would be?

Dog: We are the zodiacs.

Piper: We?

(The other four Zodiacs appear. Piper clears her throat. Dog holds out his hands.)

Dog: The staff... for your life.

Commercial Break

[Scene: Manor, stairs; continue from before.]

Dog: The staff.

Piper: Okay, look. There’s nothing I’d love better than to get rid of this thing, but...

(Dog launches himself at her in wind and smoke. Piper steps back and sings the staff like a bat, knocking him to the floor.)

Dog: Kill her!

(Piper tries blasting them, but they have a force shield up. She stops.)

Piper: Yeah, that’s ugly. Okay, hang on. (Dog stands up and force shield disintegrates.) There’s no need to fight. How would you guys like your staff in pieces? One for each of you?

Dog: Maybe we should just…talk about this.

Piper: Talk fast.

[Scene: Sacred Garden. Billie sits under the pavilion and crosses her legs.]

Billie: Can’t I just sit in a chair?

Chinese Man: Stop resisting. Just relax. Now, what happened the first time you tried to use this new power of yours?

Billie: Hmm. Well, I turned my parents into assassins.

Chinese Man: Oh... I see. All the more reason to focus completely on what you wish to project this time, what you truly wish to find.

Billie: After fifteen years, I want to find my big sister.

Chinese Man: That’s practical, not emotional. (He moves closer.) That’s not how your power works. Think, deep down... what is it that you truly want?

Billie: I want to see Christy. I want to know what she’s been going through all these years.

Chinese Man: All right. Then concentrate on that. (Billie closes her eyes.) Allow the world that surrounds you to disappear. Allow time to be nothing but an idea.

Billie: Don’t bend the spoon – Imagine there is no spoon? (He clears his throat.) Sorry.

Chinese Man: Think of only Christy…of seeing her again…of where she went… (Billie rubs her head.) Of understanding. (She puts her hands down and concentrates.) Let your power take you where you need to go. Now.

(Billie appears in a cave cell. There’s a door and a small bared window behind her. She opens her eyes and stands up.)

Billie: Lo Pan? Where are you? What is going on? (She goes over to the door and sees the signs and characters on it.) Lo Pan! (She hears something behind her.) Who’s there? (A figure steps out. It’s a dirty girl dressed in rags.) Christy, is that you? (The girl cringes and steps back.) It’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you. (The girl steps forward.) Unbelievable.

[Cut to Manor, conservatory.]

Dog: We do not wish to harm you. We thought you had stolen the sacred staff.

Piper: Don’t you guys talk to each other? Lo Pan? The guy that gave me this to protect.

Dog: Lo Pan is just a servant. He only speaks when spoken to.

Piper: Well, maybe you should speak to him more often, considering he seems to know more about this than you do.

Dog: He should have hidden the sacred garden better from the demons.

Piper: Maybe so. But if he hadn’t anticipated the attack, I wouldn’t be holding this right now, would I?

Dog: Point taken.

Piper: So, I take it you guys heard about Chicken.

(Dog closes his eyes.)

Dog: Rooster. And, yes, we sensed it. That’s why we were so afraid the staff had been stolen. The moment it was out of his hands we began tracking it... to you.

Piper: Okay. Well, would you like it back?

(She hands him the staff. He steps back.)

Dog: No. It is forbidden until the new year. I am Dog. Next in line for the staff.

Piper: Okay, so, can’t one of your other zodiacs hold it for you until then?

Dog: No. It would upset the eternal cycle, change the balance of all things.

Piper: Great. What would you like me to do with it?

(Novak enters behind Piper with his demons.)

Novak: I’ll take it.

Piper: Oh, no... you again.

Novak: Yep. Me again.

(He throws a fireball at them as Dog grabs Piper and turns her. He turns into the wind and vanishes with her. Fireballs are hurled at the other Zodiacs force shield. Dog and Piper appear on the porch as the fight continues inside.)

Dog: Go! You must protect the staff!

Piper: What about my house?

Dog: Only the staff matters. Go!

(He goes back inside.)

Piper: Paige!

[Cut to Golden Gate Bridge. Paige orbs on the top tower with Henry.]

Paige: Well, last stop on our orbing world tour, Golden Gate Bridge. Bet, you’ve never see it from this angle, huh?

Henry: Are you nuts? W-w-what are we doing here now?

Paige: Well, you have some questions, I’m trying to facilitate some answers.

Henry: How?

Paige: I told you about the Elders, right? And if I call them down here, they can maybe explain this whole thing a little more in-depth.

Henry: Just slow down a little, okay, because my head’s still spinning.

Paige: I’m just trying to help you understand the whole shebang that goes along with me, right? And I just figured what better way than orb you all around the world, to really see things first-hand.

Henry: I don’t know what’s gotten into you.

(Paige’s phone rings.)

Paige: Oh, hold that thought. (to phone) Hello?

(She walks to the tower and leans against it.)

Piper: Paige, where are you? I need help.

Paige: (to phone) At the moment, Henry needs my help more.

[Intercut to Piper. She is driving and on the phone.]

Piper: (to phone) Would you forget about Henry for one second. This is bad.

Paige: Really? How bad?

Piper: Things stop spinning bad. If the demon gets the staff, the eternal cycle ends, something, and the world turns evil. I don’t know.

(The staff hovers behind her. Piper tries to elbow it down.)

Paige: Hmm…world turning evil or my relationship ending? (Henry lingers close to the edge.) That’s kind of a tough choice.

Piper: Tough choice? What the hell is the matter with you?

Paige: Well, nothing is the matter with me. I’m just really focused on Henry.

(Henry steps closer to the edge.)

Piper: When did you become so obsessive? That is my deal.

Paige: I guess it is. But maybe I learned from the best, big sis. (A wind blows and Henry falls off, screaming.) Oh, my goodness! Henry just fell off the bridge. I’m going to have to call you back.

(She closes the phone and orbs away.)

Piper: (to phone) No, no, no, I need you to meet… (She closes her phone. The staff hovers in the backseat.) Great…that’s just…that’s great. Great. Don’t make me come back there!

(The staff’s head turns and grins.)

[Cut to Paige. She orbs in with Henry, who’s shivering.]

Paige: You okay? (Henry nods.) Where were we? Such a great view. You should really try enjoying it more.

(Henry nods.)

[Scene: Phoebe’s Loft, living room. Phoebe is having a party. She grabs a bottle and refills some glasses.]

Phoebe: Anyone need a refill? (She fills guests’ glasses.) You okay? Enjoying yourselves? Okay, good. (A couple of girls are giggling.) Ooh, I hear laughter. That’s good. Laughter means happy people. (She refills their glasses.) There you go. (She puts the bottle down and backs away –bumping into a cute guy.) I’m so sorry.

Cute Guy: That’s all right. It’s really nice of you to put this together for everyone.

Phoebe: Yeah. I just wanted to meet all my neighbors. I’m so happy to be living here, you have no idea. Really. It’s like I’m free.

Cute Guy: I can tell. I’m glad you’re living here, too.

Phoebe: Oh. (The doorbell rings.) Oh, excuse me. (She opens the door. Piper is there.) Hi, Piper. (Piper smiles.) I wasn’t expecting you here.

(Piper pulls Phoebe into the hallway.)

Piper: (to the party) Hey, how you all doing? Be right back. (Behind her back, the staff glows and infuses Phoebe.) Listen, we have a problem, one you’ll help with whether you like it or not.

Phoebe: Wait, no. Piper, I can’t. I have to focus on my party.

Piper: Are you kidding me? Listen. I’m tired of babysitting this thing by myself. It is your turn.

(Piper holds it out. Phoebe rolls her eyes and takes it. The staff glows and infuses Piper.)

Phoebe: What just happened?

Piper: What am I doing here? I should be at Marine World with my kids.

(Piper begins to leave.)

Phoebe: Piper…what would you like me to do with this?

(The staff glows again.)

Piper: Screw it! I’m free.

Partyer: It’s party time, everybody!

(The music turns up. Phoebe sees that her guests have gone wild. Phoebe smiles and nods.)

[Scene: Manor, living room. Paige orbs in to find the house trashed.]

Paige: Piper, what the...

(Novak and the demons run by, knocking Paige down. They shimmer out. The zodiacs chase them, vanishing in the wind. Paige rubs her neck.)

Commercial Break

[Scene: Manor, living room. Phoebe comes in through the front door, with the staff covered in a cloth.]

Phoebe: Uh-oh. (She closes the door.) Paige!

(Paige groans.)

Paige: Oh, yeah...

(Phoebe helps her up.)

Phoebe: Honey, are you okay? What happened?

Paige: Well, I don’t understand. Why don’t the demons just move in here since they’re here all the time, anyway?

Phoebe: Where’s Piper?

Paige: I don’t know. I came here looking for her, and I got knocked down.

Phoebe: Did you see what they look like?

Paige: Your average tackily dressed demons. There were some other guys with red gown robie things.

Phoebe: They must be after the staff.

Paige: What staff?

Phoebe: No, don’t touch it! It’s covered for a reason. It has a crazy effect on people.

Paige: Maybe that’s what was making me so crazy and obsessed with Henry.

Phoebe: Well, yeah, but the question is, why aren’t you now?

(Paige shrugs.)

Paige: Maybe it wore off. Maybe those guys knocked it out of me.

(Phoebe sighs.)

Phoebe: We have to find Piper.

(She picks up the phone and begins calling.)

[Scene: Underworld, cave cell. Billie and Christy sit on the floor.]

Christy: I hear them outside, whispering, but I don’t understand what they’re saying. I never understand what they’re saying. Then they stop for awhile. Sometimes for a long time. But then they start again. I don’t know what they want.

Billie: It’s okay. It’s okay. Look, I’m here now, okay?

Christy: I still don’t understand how.

Billie: Yeah, that makes two of us. All I know is I’m supposed to be with you now and try to figure this out so I can get you out of here.

(Christy shakes her head.)

Christy: No, they won’t let us. They won’t let us.

Billie: Have you tried using your powers?

Christy: Powers? What do you mean?

Billie: You know, your powers…magic. (Christy shakes her head.) Christy, you’re a witch, just like me. You must have some powers. That—wait…Powers. That must be what they want from you. (She finds an amulet on the floor behind Christy.) Where did you get this?

Christy: They gave it to me. They all wear it.

Billie: The symbol from your diary.

(Whispering comes from outside. They get to their feet. Christy clutches Billie’s arm.)

Christy: It’s them! I want to go home! Please take me home.

Billie: Lo Pan?

(Christy lets go and backs up.)

Christy: Hurry, Billie.

Billie: Lo Pan! Get us out of here now! (The cave changes back into a garden.) Lo Pan?

Lo Pan: I’m right here.

Billie: Well, where is she? Where’s Christy? She—she was right there.

Lo Pan: Where?

Billie: Locked away alone in a cave! Why couldn’t I save her?

Lo Pan: You didn’t go there to save her. You went there to see her, to understand.

Billie: But I don’t understand. I don’t understand at all. She was a kid, barely older than when she was taken.

Lo Pan: She was vulnerable and open to you. That’s why your power took you to that time. Before she changed. Surely you received something from that journey, did you not?

Billie: Well, they’re after her powers, powers she doesn’t even know she has yet.

Lo Pan: You can’t save her from her past. No one can. But perhaps you can save her now, after you help save us.

[Scene: Street. Piper is on the side, fixing her tire. She’s on the phone.]

Piper: (to phone) No, sweetie, mommy’s okay, she just got a flat tire. I’ll be there as soon as I can. (Novak appears.) No, no, no, no—wait for me. I want to see the penguins with you. Really, okay. I’ll be there in thirty minutes.

Novak: I doubt that.

(Piper hangs up.)

[Scene: Manor, conservatory. Paige walks in as Phoebe hangs up.]

Phoebe: Okay, dad said she just called.

Paige: So she’s all right.

Phoebe: Not necessarily. The phone went dead.

Paige: Maybe it’s just a bad reception?

Phoebe: I think we should try the “to call a lost witch” spell.

Paige: It won’t work unless she’s actually lost. She could be just spending time with the boys, which would be a good thing, right?

Phoebe: Until the world turns evil.

Novak: Which you’re about to help me with. (He comes in with Piper and the staff. He pushes her to her sisters, then uncovers the staff and infuses his evil into them.) Now, let’s go and do something you’ll regret later.

Commercial Break

[Scene: Manor, attic, conservatory. Continue from before.]

Novak: Well, this just might be worth all those years of waiting. The Charmed Ones…under my rule. Imagine the possibilities. Maybe I’ll keep you around for awhile, after you complete the task at hand.

Phoebe: Kill Dog?

Novak: No, no, no—I don’t want to destroy one zodiac. I want to destroy them all, so they can never take this away from me again.

Paige: What do you want us to do?

Novak: Ah, eager to please. I like that. You’re going to kill Lo Pan.

Piper: Lo Pan? The servant?

Novak: He’s much more than just that. Though the zodiacs all but dismiss him, he’s more important than they give him credit for. In fact, he’s the key to continuing the eternal cycle. He protects the sacred garden. Without it, they’re nothing.

Phoebe: Then what?

Novak: Then…the year of evil beings.

[Scene: Sacred Garden. The sisters enter.]

Phoebe: Where is he?

Piper: He should be here.

(Billie and Lo Pan step out from behind the rocks.)

Billie: Hey, what are you guys doing here?

Piper: Looking for him.

Billie: Lo Pan? Why? The demons are coming. We have to… Hey, where’s the staff? (The sisters get closer.) What are you guys doing?

Paige: Making our new year’s resolutions.

(Lo Pan pushes Billie down as Piper tries to blow them up.)

Lo Pan: Get down!

(The banner sign blows up. Billie and Lo Pan cover behind a rock.)

Phoebe: You missed.

Lo Pan: Evil influences them. That means the demon has the staff.

Billie: Oh, that’s just great. What do we do?

Lo Pan: We do nothing. You learned to control your power for this moment.

Billie: Are you crazy? I’m not going up against them!

Lo Pan: You have to if you want to save your sister. Focus. Project what you wish.

(Billie stands up.)

Piper: Billie, we don’t want to hurt you.

Paige: Sure we do. Boulder!

(She orbs a rock to Billie, but she sends it back to Paige, missing her.)

Phoebe: Kill her.

(Billie puts her fingers to her head. There’s a glow around the sisters’ heads.)

Piper: What just happened? What are we doing here?

Billie: Oh, no big deal. You guys were just trying to kill me, but I changed your minds.

(She and Piper smile.)

[Cut to Magic School, Great Hall. Demon1 paces. Novak fingers the head of the staff.]

Demon1: I don’t like it. We should’ve killed Lo Pan ourselves.

Novak: Too many years of failed attempts have turned you cynical, my friend. You’ve got to learn to think more positively now that evil’s finally taken over the world. Sad, really. Now what do we do?

(The staff orbs out. The sisters and Billie enter as the staff orbs into Paige’s cloth she’s holding.)

Paige: Well, I wish I had a pithy retort, but you’re really not worth it.

Demon1: You were saying?

Phoebe: Now. (Paige lifts the staff and they take hold. Billie closes her eyes. The staff glows. The demons are vanquished. They let go of the staff.) (to Paige) Quick, cover it up.

(Paige covers it with Piper.)

Piper: (to Billie) Uh, do me a favor…and be careful what you wish for, especially around the boys.

Billie: Uh, yeah, well, I haven’t exactly mastered it anyway, so...

Paige: I think that would be her point.

Piper: Well, it’s almost midnight, so we should get this thing back before it’s too late.

Paige: Ooh. I really can’t. I’ve got to go apologize to my boyfriend.

(She leaves. Phoebe follows.)

Phoebe: I have to explain to the neighbors.

Billie: Yeah. And I have a sister to scry for.

(She shows them the amulet and leaves. Piper smiles and shakes her head.)

[Scene: Sacred Garden. Piper enters. Lo Pan is dressed in red robes. He sees Piper and smiles.]

Piper: What’s going on? What happened to you?

Lo Pan: It seems that I have been... elevated. I am now Rooster. The staff, if you please.

Piper: Oh, gladly.

(She uncovers the staff and hands it to him.)

Lo Pan: You received the sign for a reason. And not just to help perpetuate the cycle, but to help the both of us as well.

Piper: How exactly was I help?

Lo Pan: You’ve shown that patience can be rewarded for me and for you. Leo will come back only if he’s meant to. And only when it’s time. Not before.

(He and Piper bow. He takes the staff back to the other zodiacs.)

[Scene: Golden Gate Bridge. Paige orbs Henry to the top.]

Paige: Funny, I figured after last time, this would be the last place you’d want to come back to.

Henry: Yeah, I did have to think about it. I mean, not about us, but…The magic.

Paige: And?

(Henry sighs.)

Henry: And after everything that you did today, I mean, not just this, but the whole eternal cycle deal, I get it.

Paige: This isn’t, um, freaking you out? You’re not mad at me?

Henry: I was never mad at you. Or freaked out. I was – Well, I got a little freaked out when those wild pygmies were chasing us back then.

Paige: That was an accidental orb.

Henry: That’s okay. It helped me see the bigger picture. You, uh, use your powers to make the world a better place. How could I have a problem with that? I think it’s amazing.

Paige: You do?

Henry: And I think I’m falling in love with you.

Paige: I think I’m falling in love with you, too.

(He takes her hand.)

[Scene: Underworld, cave cell. The door opens and Billie walks in.]

Billie: Christy?

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