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The Festival of Death
Episode 14
Writer: James Cappe Director: Charles Siebert
A traveling festival visits Zhu Zin, secretly raising an army of undead

Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban) has taken a friend from his past,
Lori (guest star Brooke Burns) on as a martial arts student. Although Lori's
enthusiastic and hardworking, Kung Lao and Siro (series regular Daniel
Bernhardt) doubt her abilities as a fighter. Lori, on the other hand, is overly
confident about her ability and wants nothing more than to fight.

One day, a traveling circus of sorts arrives in Zhu Zin with the fighter Qali
(guest star Roshumba Williams) as its ringleader. On the surface it appears to
be just another carnival with acrobats, jugglers and costumed characters, but
as Kung Lao, Taja (series regular Kristanna Loken) and Siro know, where
Qali's involved, trouble is sure to be close at hand. (The last time Qali was in
Earth Realm, she betrayed Princess Kitana on behalf of Shao Kahn.)

Taja and Siro warn Qali that they're watching her and will not tolerate any
trouble. Qali claims that the festival allows her to make a living since being
shunned by both Kitana and Shao Kahn--which is only partially true. She has
been shunned, but the festival isn't a living, it's actually a means for Quan Chi
to collect humans to raise an army of undead warriors!

Each night, the festival holds secret fighting contests in which the villagers
compete for a chance to win money. At the end of the night, the strongest
villager (and thus, the best candidate for Quan Chi's army) faces the assassin
Mika (guest star Jamie Pressly), whose stunning beauty belies her deadly
skill. Once Mika has beaten the villager, Qali releases one of Quan Chi's
undead souls to take over the body.

Shang Tsung (series regular Bruce Locke) is concerned that Quan Chi is
raising an army as a way to strengthen his alliance with Shao Kahn. If Shao
Kahn begins to look favorably at Quan Chi, then he'll have no use for Shang
Tsung, when and if he is ever freed from the Cobalt Mines. Shang Tsung
knows he must put a stop to Quan Chi and dispatches Vorpax (series regular
Tracy Douglas) to Earth Realm to investigate.

Vorpax reports back to Shang Tsung and the two devise a plan. If they can get
Kung Lao to fight at the festival and he is beaten, then Qali would unleash a
soul to take over his body. If Shang Tsung could control the soul that's put into
Kung Loa's body, then his value to Shao Kahn is restored.

Shang Tsung needs Qali to help him carry out his plan, so he tells her that
once he's back at Shao Kahn's side, she will benefit--perhaps even getting
Princess Kitana's throne. She agrees to have Shang Tsung's fighter face Kung
Lao and will make the soul transference as instructed. Getting Kung Lao to
fight, however, is another thing.

Lori has heard about the fighting contests and thinks she's got what it takes.
Determined to fight, Lori sneaks out to the contest. Once there, she's taken in
by Qali, who is using her as bait to get Kung Lao to the fights. It works.

When Kung Lao agrees to fight in Lori's place, Qali presents Shang Tsung's
fighter--a giant of a man who looks as if he'll crush Kung Lao. It's a fierce
battle, but Kung Lao manages to get the upper hand. As Kung Lao delivers
the final crushing blow, the giant falls to ground knocking over the chest
containing the undead souls of Quan Chi and creating a firestorm of unworldly
pandemonium. Kung Lao, Taja and Siro literally run for their lives, leaving Lori
behind--for she's already joined Quan Chi's dark legions.