Part 4

The following morning, the Smurfs have gathered together for breakfast around the dining commons outside. Empath, Smurfette, Tapper, and Duncan sat together as they ate their breakfast.
"My fellow Empath, have you by any chance seen our dear friend Handy this morning?" Tapper asked.
"Now that you've mentioned it, Tapper, this smurf hasn't seen him go through the breakfast line along with the other Smurfs," Empath answered. "This smurf can only wonder what's wrong with him."
"Maybe the laddie smurfed a busy night last night smurfing on something," Duncan guessed.
"That would be my guess as well, Duncan," Tapper said, sighing with realization. "Oh, well, I suppose he could sleep in a bit, but his fellow Smurfs are going to miss his presence helping them fix various things in the village today."
"You don't suppose this has anything to smurf with my magic compact, Empath, do you?" Smurfette asked.
"Why do you ask that, Smurfette?" Empath responded. "You know that Papa Smurf still has it in his possession."
"Maybe I'm just imagining things, Empath," Smurfette said. "But if Handy's so desperate to finish his latest invention, who knows what he was smurfing?"
"Papa Smurf is going to be busy in his laboratory today, Smurfette, so we will have to wait until later to check and see if your magic compact is still there," Empath said. "But this smurf would assume that nothing has happened to it during the passage of the night."
"I trust your word on that, Empath," Smurfette said, smiling.
Brainy and Clumsy approached the four of them at that point. "Empath, do you know what's going on with Handy this morning? I want to smurf to him about having my own personal smurfopedia for smurfing down my latest books, but I can't seem to smurf him out of bed," Brainy said.
"Yeah, what's happened to Handy?" Clumsy added, sounding curious.
Empath sighed. "It's possible that Handy had a busy night with one of his inventions and probably got so caught up in working on it that he just fell asleep by the morning light, Brainy."
"It figures that it would have to be one of those nights with Handy," Brainy said, sounding greatly displeased.
"Let the boy smurf his rest there, Brainy," Duncan said. "I'm sure that it must something really important that we're going to find out about smurfer or later."
"I'm sure your requests for Handy's services will wait until he has smurfed his full rest today, my friend," Tapper said.
Brainy sighed. "Very well, then. Come along, Clumsy."
"I wonder what Handy's smurfing on in his workshop last night that's so important, Brainy," Clumsy said as the two of them started to move along.
"Only smurf knows what it is," Brainy responded.
Smurfette sighed. "I just want to find out what Handy's been smurfing in his workshop last night, if only that will satisfy my curiosity, Empath."
"This smurf would desire to know that for myself, Smurfette, but this smurf is not going to break into his house to find out what it is if he feels that it's important for him to reveal it to us himself," Empath said.
"Couldn't you just smurf inside his mind and find out, Empath?" Smurfette asked.
"That would be an invasion of his privacy, Smurfette," Empath replied. "This smurf has spent years earning the trust of this smurf's fellow Smurfs that this smurf would not enter their minds without their consent. This smurf isn't going to break that sacred trust unless this smurf feels that there is a danger to this smurf's fellow Smurfs that this smurf must prevent."
"I would not pressure the laddie into smurfing that if I were you, lass," Duncan warned.
"I would have to agree that having Empath smurf into Handy's mind without his permission would not be a wise thing to smurf, if Handy has smurfed nothing to endanger the village," Tapper said.
Smurfette sighed again in frustration. "I'm sorry I even thought of that, Empath. I just don't want to see any of you get hurt."
"Your concerns are well noted, Smurfette," Empath said. "We will keep an eye on Handy in case there is anything amiss that we need to be watchful for."

A little later on in the day, Handy had Harmony summon everyone in the village around the outside of his workshop, where he was ready to unveil his latest invention.
"Behold, my fellow Smurfs, the next evolution of the telesmurf," Handy said, holding up what looked like a makeup compact, but with a telephone keypad instead of a powder puff inside the case. "Years ago, when the telesmurf first smurfed into being, you could only smurf to each other from your own houses. Now you can smurf with your fellow Smurfs anywhere, as long as you dial the number of their telesmurf."
With that, he demonstrated the new telesmurf by entering a seven-digit number on the keypad. After about less than a minute, the image in the mirror changed to that of Carpenter, who was holding the other prototype.
"Handy, can you smurf me now?" Carpenter asked through the telesmurf.
"Loud and clear, Carpenter," Handy replied. "Where are you?"
"I'm right now on the other side of the village, Handy," Carpenter answered. "This invention is really amazing."
Most of the Smurfs oohed and aahed in wonder at the presentation of the device. They couldn't believe that they could now talk to each other using portable mirrors in a compact case.
"This is one of the inventions I have dreamed about, my fellow Smurfs," Dreamy said.
"I hate dreaming about inventions," Grouchy said.
"Oh, that is just so impressive, Handy...a mirror you can talk into and even see yourself in," Vanity said as he was looking into his hand mirror.
"It also has a mode where you can smurf to each other through audio only, my fellow Smurfs," Handy said. "Watch this." He pressed a button, and instantly the image of Carpenter on his telesmurf became a mirror reflection again. "Carpenter, can you still hear me?"
"Of course I can, Handy," Carpenter replied through the telesmurf. "What happened? I can no longer see you through the thing."
"We're in audio-only mode right now, Carpenter," Handy answered.
"That's amazing," Carpenter said, sounding impressed.
Most of the Smurfs looked like they were ready to get their hands on the new portable telesmurf themselves, just to see what conversing with each other through it would be like. Handy allowed them to take turns talking to Carpenter through the device to find out for themselves.
Empath, Smurfette, and Polaris, however, stood back and watched everyone else. "I have a very smurfing suspicion that Handy smurfed something of mine to complete this new version of the telesmurf," Smurfette said.
"It wouldn't hurt to ask, Smurfette, how he managed to complete the idea," Empath suggested.
"This one will accompany you," Polaris said as the three of them walked toward Handy.
The Smurflings gathered together around Handy as they wanted to try the invention for themselves. "When are you going to smurf each of us our own telesmurfs, Handy?" Sassette asked.
"As soon as possible, Sassette," Handy replied. "You're going to enjoy being able to smurf with your friends no matter how far apart they are."
"Excuse me, Handy, but how did you manage to complete the development of your telesmurf?" Smurfette asked politely as she approached him.
"Oh, uh, it smurfed to me by inspiration...you know, like how the design for the smurfopedia was completed," Handy answered. "I just created a special magic mirror where you can communicate with each other through the mirror."
"Uh huh," Smurfette said, not sounding convinced. "And this just happened to smurf like a makeup compact case, similar to one that I used to have?"
"Well, this is just what the first version will smurf like, Smurfette," Handy said. "But with later editions, it will smurf less feminine, so Smurfs wouldn't look ridiculous smurfing into what looks like a makeup compact. No offense."
"None taken, Handy," Smurfette said. "I just don't want my fellow Smurfs to be hurt by your inventions, that's all."
"Don't worry about it, Smurfette," Handy said, trying to sound reassuring. "Nobody's going to be hurt by this, I promise you."
Polaris, do you sense anything from Handy's mind? Empath asked, using telepathy to communicate.
Just that he may be hiding something that doesn't belong to him, but this one can't be certain of what it is, Empath, Polaris replied.
That may be what this smurf is also sensing, Empath said, sighing with a bit of frustration. This smurf would have to ask Handy for permission to search through his workshop to see if he has anything that doesn't belong to him.
Smurfette rejoined Empath and Polaris after talking with Handy. "He smurfs that the whole thing is what he created by himself, but I'm still not sure if he's smurfing the whole truth," Smurfette said.
"We'll keep a watch over this new invention, and find out just what it is that helped bring it to life before any harm overtakes us, Smurfette," Empath said.

Over the course of a few days, Handy converted his device replicator so that it could mass-produce as many portable telesmurfs as possible. Most of the Smurfs seemed to snap it up as quickly as they could get their hands on one. Each of them was coded with a different telesmurf number, as they found out when they started to use them to converse with one another, so they had to remember which Smurf had which telesmurf number before they could call them.
Handy seemed pleased to see the result of his new invention, as Smurfs could now talk to each other from anywhere, even over long distances in the forest as with the case of Tracker with his portable telesmurf. But there would be problems that would emerge with this new invention.
Greedy, for one, found it hard to concentrate on making the day's meals when most of his fellow Smurfs would be calling all the time to find out what was going to be on the menu. It got to the point where Greedy wouldn't bother to answer his telesmurf when he was busy making food preparations. His kitchen workers also wouldn't bother answering theirs when calls were coming through on their telesmurfs.
Another problem would be Smurfs that wouldn't look where they were going when they were walking around talking to each other through their telesmurfs. Sometimes two or more Smurfs would collide with each other and drop their telesmurfs on the ground, which at times would end up being swapped with each other's because they all looked identical to each other.
A third problem was that constant useage of the telesmurf was interfering with the Smurfs' ability to focus on their work, as they were constantly fielding calls from each other. Hefty found that to be particularly frustrating, as various tasks during important construction projects were being delayed or interrupted with constant telesmurf calls. He had to make it a rule that no telesmurf calls could be made or received while Smurfs were doing an important job for him.
And there was also a problem with Smurfs not being able to sleep. For some reason, certain Smurfs found it necessary to be on the telesmurf during the late hours of the night because they need somebody to talk to. This would make those Smurfs so tired by morning that they were barely able to function during the day.
Empath saw that he had to deal with counseling Smurfs who were coming down with "telesmurf addiction", of always having to be on their telesmurf because it was so handy and ready at a moment's notice to use. Even the Smurflings couldn't get enough of using the telesmurf for their own playtime.
Tapper noticeably didn't use the telesmurf too much, though. He kept it nearby on the back counter in case he needed to receive a call, but he hardly used it for making any outgoing calls. Empath, Smurfette, and Duncan were among those that didn't bother getting a telesmurf, as they felt they preferred using direct physical communication instead of a device for talking with others.
Empath, Smurfette, and Duncan sat together one night at the counter of Tapper's Tavern discussing the matter with Tapper.
"This smurf wouldn't think that the other Smurfs would be so addicted to those portable telesmurfs that it would change their social interactions with each other," Empath said.
"I can't even get the Smurflings to stop smurfing with each other on those devices," Smurfette said.
"I would think that this is going to be a fad that will smurf its peak and then smurf away as it becomes a commonplace thing, my fellow Smurfs," Tapper said. "After all, how long are they going to smurf this way before they get tired and will start smurfing to each other the old-fashioned way?"
"I wouldn't mind it for the convenience, laddies," Duncan said. "But still, I just got a bad feeling that something terrible is going to smurf out of this."
"We just have to be watchful for our friends, Duncan," Empath said. "Who knows if this is being used by someone to mesmerize the other Smurfs into their own nefarious trap of some sort?"
Just then, Grouchy came up to the counter with an empty glass, looking sour as usual. He was carrying a portable telesmurf on him like every other Smurf, but his remained closed.
"Why, Grouchy, I didn't expect for you to be smurfing one of those new telesmurfs around with you," Tapper commented as he refilled Grouchy's glass with sarsaparilla ale.
"I don't know why I bothered to smurf one of them, Tapper," Grouchy said. "I'm not fond of talking to anyone anyway, even through this thing. I just figured I'd carry one just in case someone does."
"You're more than welcome to talk to us, Grouchy," Empath said.
"I'd be careful smurfing with that thing if I were you," Smurfette said, sounding concerned.
Grouchy sighed as he looked at his portable telesmurf. "It looks ridiculous to me anyway. I mean, no offense to you, Smurfette, but it still looks like a makeup case. I'm not sure I would want to be smurfed dead talking into this thing."
"I know what you mean there, laddie," Duncan said. "Maybe Handy will someday smurf a version of this device that will look less like something only Smurfette would carry around."
"I don't think any of you look ridiculous with those telesmurfs, but I'm still concerned about them, and I'm not going to rest easy until I find out," Smurfette said.
Unknown to all the Smurfs, though, Gargamel was watching them all through his magic mirror, which was displaying all the Smurfs that were using the portable telesmurf in small windows appearing in the mirror's image.
"That's it, my little Smurfs, keep chattering away on your stupid little pocket mirrors," Gargamel said. "The time will come when I will spring my trap upon you, and you won't know what has happened until it's too late."
Scruple watched as his master was watching his magic mirror. "I don't know about Gargy, Azrael," he said to the cat. "What is that fool hoping to accomplish by having all those Smurfs talk to each other through those pocket mirrors in the first place?"
Azrael meowed a response that sounded like he didn't know the answer himself.

Papa Smurf had been busy in his laboratory for days, working with his magic window to transcribe a good deal of his magic formulas. Finally, he came out of his laboratory, feeling rather exhausted. "Great Smurfness, I can't believe it's been days since I last smurfed something to eat," Papa Smurf said to himself. "I might as well smurf to the kitchen to see what Greedy is cooking."
However, as Papa Smurf headed to the kitchen, he ran into a Smurf who was carrying one of the portable telesmurfs around. "Watch where you're smurfing!" Papa Smurf called out after they both fell to the ground.
"Sorry, Papa Smurf, I was busy smurfing a phone call," that Smurf said, picking up his telesmurf as he picked himself up from the ground before continuing on his way.
Papa Smurf noticed briefly that the device looked like Smurfette's magic compact, then he noticed that most of his little Smurfs were carrying these devices around, always seeming to be talking with someone through it while paying little attention to where they were going or what they were doing.
He finally came across Empath as he was monitoring things in the village in his stead. "Empath Smurf, what is the meaning of these Smurfs carrying those little devices around with them?" he asked.
"Handy called those devices the portable telesmurf, Papa Smurf," Empath answered. "They are supposed to be the next evolution of that invention that would allow Smurfs the freedom to talk to each other wherever they are."
"More like portable nuisances if you ask me, laddie," Duncan said. "You couldn't smurf anywhere without running into a Smurf who was smurfing those things around."
"It's strange how the devices are changing the way Smurfs want to converse with each other, Papa Smurf," Tapper said. "Instead of smurfing directly to each other, now they just smurf up the telesmurf and call their friends and converse through that."
"There have been instances of Smurfs getting their devices mixed up with each other in their collisions, but so far things have been under control for the past few days," Polaris reported.
"I would like to know how Handy managed to smurf this invention to life, because I don't remember smurfing him permission to smurf his hands on that magic compact," Papa Smurf said.
"This smurf and Polaris were suspecting that Handy was hiding the secret of this device's usability in his own workshop, Papa Smurf, but we haven't been able to smurf into the workshop to prove it to be so," Empath said.
"Well, I think it's time we smurfed a visit to Handy Smurf and smurf to the bottom of this mystery, Empath," Papa Smurf said.
"I might as well go with you, Papa Smurf, because the success of this device is what consmurfs me," Tapper said.
"Aye, laddie, I'm smurfing with you as well," Duncan said.
"If it concerns the security of the village, then this one must also attend this situation," Polaris said as the five of them headed off.