Part 4

Polaris noticed that Great-Grandfather Smurf started to break down into tears. "Great-Grandfather...you're becoming sad over the memory of that loss," Polaris said. "Perhaps we should wait until later to continue the story."
"No...let me collect myself first," Great-Grandfather Smurf said. "It's important for me to tell you everything about that day before I lose all my strength." Polaris sat and watched as Great-Grandfather struggled to maintain what emotions he had left. "Forgive me for that outburst, for it has been years since I last remembered your Great-Grandmother Smurfette still being among the living."
"This one knows how important she was in your life, Great-Grandfather," Polaris said. "You have often spoken about her kindness and her gentleness around you, and how she empathized with you being an outsider who was trying to live like a Smurf."
"I didn't deserve anyone as sweet and caring as Smurfette to come into my life like she did a thousand years ago on this day, Polaris," Great-Grandfather Smurf said. "I truly didn't know how to act around her, which made the first few days of being around her so difficult, but she never left my mind or my heart ever since that day. She was so young and yet so mature for someone who only lived for a few years as a former instrument of evil smurfed by an evil wizard."
"Gargamel," Polaris said, knowing who Great-Grandfather Smurf was talking about. "This one wonders if he has any descendants in the modern world we live in and what they're doing."
"I couldn't imagine who would love Gargamel enough to give him the privilege of being the forefather of what generations of offspring would follow in his footsmurfs, Polaris," Great-Grandfather Smurf said. "All we know is that the ruins of what used to be Gargamel's old rundown hovel have been pillaged in recent years, no doubt with somebody trying to smurf their hands on that Great Book Of Spells for whatever purpose it might smurf them."
"If only there were enough of us to stop such a pillaging of ruins that should never be disturbed by anyone," Polaris said. "This one fears that it will not bode well for those who will be affected by whoever's currently using that book."
"Indeed it will not, Polaris," Great-Grandfather Smurf said with a heavy sigh. "But we can't change the past until the rest of my story is through, and then you'll see for yourself why the story I'm smurfing you is important."

As Great-Grandfather Smurf continued with his story, Polaris saw Tapper and Duncan with each other in the tavern near the end of the day, talking to each other.
"Have you seen how our fellow Smurfs have been around Empath all day, laddie?" Duncan said. "He has all these memories of the future, and suddenly they all smurf around him, hoping he will smurf them the answer they want to hear."
"I remember it smurfing that way when Clumsy possessed that magic rock he smurfed in the forest one time four years ago, my good Duncan," Tapper said.
"What really smurfs me is that Brainy's been smurfing around Empath like he's been smurfing around Clumsy when he started smurfing things of the future, acting like he's the official spokesmurf while hoping that he's going to have his future smurfed out," Duncan said.
"I know Brainy wants to smurf himself as someone important in the village, even if the ways of him trying to smurf it are wrong or come out wrong," Tapper said. "His knowing that he is the half-brother of Empath has smurfed him some recognition, if not the recognition that he personally desires to have, since he feels that he should be recognized more for his wisdom and intelligence."
Duncan snorted at that thought. "Well, the only thing he's mostly recognized for is being such a pain in the smurf with his wagging finger and lecturing to us like we're totally beneath him. No wonder most of us just want to smurf him on his head or smurf him a flight out of the village."
Tapper snickered. "I do admit the thought has smurfed my mind at times whenever I had to smurf with him in close quarters, Duncan. But whatever the future has in smurf for him, I pray that he would be the most effective in smurfing the needs of his fellow Smurfs as the Almighty would direct him in smurfing so."
"So you're not going to ask Empath what he smurfs in your future, even if that means when you die, you get to smurf off into this heaven of yours with the Almighty?" Duncan asked.
"I personally feel that only the Almighty should know what tomorrow would smurf and will reveal it only through the smurfage of time, Duncan," Tapper said. "His holy book warns about using things like divination and spirit mediums to know about events that are yet to happen."
"So you think Empath's powers don't smurf from the Almighty when it comes to smurfing things from the future?" Duncan asked.
"Empath was smurfed with abilities that he personally never asked for, and all I can feel for him is a heavy burden of sorrow for what he has to carry through life on a daily basis," Tapper said. "I can only pray that the Almighty would lift that burden from Empath's shoulders and give him the peace that I feel he desmurfs for having to live his life apart from his fellow Smurfs."
"And I'm still waiting for my long-lost friend, whose body Empath is inhabiting, to finally come home from all those years of being smurfed away," Duncan said. "I honestly don't know if it's going to take the rest of my life to find out the answer, and that's something only Empath could smurf me if he's willing."
"I'm not sure if Empath telling you what your future is going to smurf is going to smurf you that peace, Duncan," Tapper said, placing his hand on Duncan's to show his empathy.
Just then, Empath entered the tavern with Brainy and Smurfette still following him. Empath looked even more exhausted as he was carrying around the amulet with the memory crystal, as if the task of transferring a thousand year's worth of memories was wearing him down.
"Great Smurfiny Crickets, my fellow Empath, you look worse than you did this morning when I and Duncan found you in your house still sleeping," Tapper said, his heart going out to his friend. "Here, let me smurf you a soothing cup of smurfroot tea to help you relax and regain your strength."
"That won't be necessary, Tapper," Empath said. "This smurf is through with the memory transference, so everything this smurf knows about the future is safe for future generations. This smurf just needs to clear this smurf's head and try to forget about everything this smurf has seen in those memories."
"Forget about everything?" Duncan asked. "Laddie, are you sure that's a wise thing for you to smurf?"
"That's what I've been trying to tell Empath all along, Duncan, but no, he wouldn't listen to me," Brainy said. "I still feel that he should at least smurf down the fates of his fellow Smurfs in a book so that they'll know how their lives will smurf out, especially mine, but no, he just wants to smurf an ordinary everyday life without being some kind of fortune teller."
"That's his decision how he wants to smurf his life, my dear Brainy," Tapper said. "Besides, you know that not all fortune tellers really have the power to contact the spirit world if they truly wanted to."
"Yeah, but that Esmeralda Fortune really helped us smurf a scare into Gargamel when he captured Smurfette and Dreamy," Duncan said with a fond chuckle.
"In case you were wondering about your future, Duncan, this smurf saw that your friend returned upon the day of your death, and though you were sad that it took your entire life to know when it was going to happen, you did not regret it when it did because you would go into the smurfy hereafter as a happy Smurf," Empath said.
Duncan looked a little dumfounded. "Well, I didn't expect that you would tell me anything about that, Empath, but I admire you for smurfing it to me now before it happens."
"This has been a really busy day for us, Tapper, and I feel like I should have a bit of refreshment before I or Empath smurf off to bed," Smurfette said.
"For you, Smurfette, I will smurf you a spot of marigold tea with some honey in it to help you relax," Tapper said before he went to pour some hot water in a tea cup and put an infuser full of tea leaves in it.
"Are you sure that you don't need anything, Empath?" Smurfette asked.
"This smurf will be fine, Smurfette, as soon as this smurf can..." Empath stopped in mid-speech as he stared blankly in the direction of Tapper's counter.
"Empath! What's going on? Is it another vision you're smurfing?" Smurfette asked, sounding very concerned.
"Please, Empath, tell me what it is you're smurfing right now," Brainy said, sounding desperate to know.
Empath didn't respond, for that moment in his vision, he appeared as an old Smurf with a purple robe and a long white beard, standing in a classroom teaching his grandchildren Smurfs about things in Smurf history that they need to know about. There were a lot of faces in the crowd of young Smurfs that Empath couldn't recognize, but he smiled as he saw how bright these young Smurfs were and eager to learn anything that he would present to them in his lessons.
"Grandfather Smurf, what is your opinion on the landsmurf case on the legalization of same-sex marriage in the Smurf Village that smurfened 32 years ago?" one of the students asked.
"Well, I have always been a traditionalist when it smurfs to marriage, my young one, but I feel that it's not my place to enforce my personal religious beliefs on anyone," Empath said.
"But it has been opposed by the Smurf Village pastor, even though his opposition was voted down by a majority of Smurfs in favor of it," another student said. "He feels that the Smurf Village will be judged for that decision."
"I am quite aware of it," Empath said. "However, I feel that the citizens of the Smurf Village should decide for themselves what they should smurf with their lives and not let themselves be dictated by a deity, however benevolent that deity may be. Any other questions?"
Then suddenly a bell rang, signaling the end of class. "Remember, my students, you have a test smurfing up soon, so I want you to be well studied and prepared," Empath said to the students as they were picking up their books and heading out the door.
After class, as the young Smurfs left and headed for other parts of the village, Empath met up with another old Smurf wearing a dark blue robe and a white beard with a pair of glasses. "Brainy, is that you?" Empath asked.
"You should know who I am by now, my dear brother," the other old Smurf in the glasses responded. "It's amazing that the young Smurfs want to sit and listen to your lessons, while mine seem to want to smurf me on my head like all our fellow Smurfs used to back in our young days."
"You never were the type who would want to keep silent about your wisdom and knowledge even when most Smurfs didn't want to hear it, Brainy," Empath said. "But frankly, I wouldn't know what the village would ever smurf without you as being a part of it."
"You were the one that the village couldn't smurf without, Empath, with you smurfing us from that evil wizard Gargamel and smurfing him out the forest for good," Brainy said. "All those years we smurfed together, I kept thinking, what would Empath do to smurf us out of this mess this time? And all of a sudden, there you were, as if you've been the answer to our prayers."
"That was mostly Papa Smurf rescuing you, Brainy, while I was busy smurfing away in Psychelia wanting so much to be home like we are right now," Empath said. "But oh, what I wouldn't give to smurf those times once more in my life with all our fellow Smurfs who passed away. Hefty, Handy, Clumsy, Greedy, Tapper, Duncan..."
"I'm sure that they would be grateful for us to be the last two Smurfs of our generation still smurfing, my dear brother," Brainy said with a smile.
"Hmmm, I'm sure feeling a bit of the ground vibrating under my feet," Empath noted after a bit of a pause. Then a while later, the vibration grew more intense.
"You sure it's not just you smurfing a bit shaky in your old age? Because I'm also feeling it, too," Brainy said.
Then another Smurf came running, crying out, "It's a smurfquake! Every Smurf, run for your smurfs! Evacuate the village at once!"
Every Smurf in the village gathered what they could and headed for the outskirts of the village as soon as they could when they heard the alert. Empath helped as many Smurfs reach safety as he could while the ground literally crumbled away and the houses in the village began to fall apart.
Then Empath wondered where Brainy was. He flew over to what was left of Brainy's own house and found him trying to grab as many books as possible. "Brainy, what are you doing?" Empath cried out.
"I want to preserve as many of my works as possible, Empath," Brainy said. "The memoirs of my life can't perish as long as I'm still smurfing."
"Brainy, forget about your books and come with me to save your life," Empath said. "They're not worth losing your life trying to save."
"Those books are my life, Empath," Brainy shot back. "What good would my life be if I don't have my..."
Empath watched as the ground opened up beneath Brainy and swallowed him whole. "BRAINY!" Empath shouted, finding himself losing the will to live.
Then suddenly another Smurf came and grabbed Empath before the ground consumed him as well. It was his grandson, who was the leader of the village at the time.
Empath and his grandson joined the rest of the Smurfs that managed to survive the earthquake near the edge of the forest, looking at the big hole that used to be where the Smurf Village was. Most of them were in disbelief of how such a thing could possibly happen. They were also speaking among themselves of where they could go now to live.
"Great Smurfiny Crickets, I get the feeling in my spirit that this may be a judgment from the Almighty that we should turn to Him before we all perish," Tapper's grandson Nehemiah spoke rather gravely.
"Michty me, laddie, why would the Almighty smurf such a thing like this upon us?" Duncan's granddaughter Saundra asked. "I thought that He was supposed to be a merciful loving God."
"He is that kind of God, Saundra, but He is also a holy and righteous God, and His Son is going to return someday to judge the smurfing and the dead, which means that everyone will have to smurf an account of their lives, even us," Nehemiah answered.
"Aye, if you say so," Saundra said, not wishing to get into an argument right then and there. "I just feel sorry for those poor souls that didn't smurf it out in time before the whole village got smurfed into the ground."
"All right, my little Smurfs, smurf me your undivided attention," Empath's grandson said in a loud voice. "I know that we don't have a home here anymore, but all is not lost. Together we can travel to other lands to see where we can build another village to keep ourselves away from the humans who only seek to devour what's left of our world."
"Papa Smurf, I can't come with you on this journey," Empath said.
"But we're going to need your expertise in order to find us a new place where we can rebuild our village, Grandpa Smurf," Empath's grandson said.
"You have to left go of me if you want this village to survive elsewhere," Empath told his grandson. "This place, this forest, has been my home for so long, and I can't think of ever smurfing anywhere else, knowing this is all that's left of my home where I and my fellow Smurfs once lived."
Empath's grandson sighed. "I can't force you to smurf with us if you don't want to, but I don't want to leave you here alone." He handed Empath his young baby Smurf. "Polaris needs to know that this was his home as well, and I know how much he loves you since his Mama Smurf passed away. Your friend would be pleased that I have smurfed him his name long after he has joined the Ancestors."
"I know that he is happy with his name being smurfed down to his great-grandson, Papa Smurf," Empath said, sounding like he was going to miss his grandson and the other Smurfs dearly. "May the spirits of the Great Ancestors guide and protect you and the others along their journey."
"May the same spirits watch over you and my son, Grandpa Smurf," Empath's grandson said, as the two of them embraced for one last time before the grandson joined the others in leaving the forest.

"And that was the last vision that I ever saw back then, when I had smurfed a thousand years worth of memories in my head," Great-Grandfather Smurf said as his story came to a close.
"Great-Grandfather, your spirit is weakening," Polaris said. "But this one also senses that something else is happening."
"You have sensed correctly, my young grandsmurf," Great-Grandfather Smurf said, his voice getting weak. "I was there when the Psyche Master had passed away, but before he did, he smurfed me everything that he knew, everything that would be essential to your task...and your future..."
"But what is that task?" Polaris asked, before he felt that his great-grandfather had breathed his last and became a deadweight in his arms, at long last resting in peace. "Great-Grandfather?!?"
"Who is this that speaks to the dead as if he is still living?" another voice, loud and commanding, broke in.
"It is Polaris Smurf, the great-grandson of Empath Smurf," Polaris answered. "And who might you be, if this one may ask?"
"I am the spirit of the Psyche Master," the voice answered. "I have been waiting for someone who carries the blood of both Smurf and Psyche to possess the power that I wish to endow unto you...the power to travel through and change time...the mission and the future that your great-grandfather spoke of."
"But how would this one be able to travel through time?" Polaris asked, sounding curious.
"Just focus on my voice and concentrate, and you'll soon find yourself in what is called the timestream," the Psyche Master responded.
Polaris closed his eyes and focused himself on the voice of the Psyche Master speaking into his mind. As he did, he disappeared from the inside of the tree stump and reappeared in a place that looked like a tunnel of many ribbons of colors streaking from one end to the other.
Polaris opened his eyes and looked at himself, noticing that he was now different. He was now wearing a gold bodysuit with gold bracelets and gold shoes. "What's happened to me?" he asked, wondering about the change.
"You are no longer Polaris Smurf," the voice of the Psyche Master answered. "You are now Traveler Smurf. And right now, you know what you must do to set forth the events that will take place."
Instantly Traveler was filled with knowledge of how he could travel through time. He soon found himself propelled through the timestream at incredible speed, seeing everything in history pass by him in a rush of snapshot images, from how the world was born to how the world ended in the future.
Then he saw the Smurf Village as it appeared a thousand years ago, in the time that Empath and his fellow Smurfs were living as young adult Smurfs. He left the timestream and glided around the village, noticing that it was nighttime and that every Smurf was asleep.
He entered into Empath's house and found his great-grandfather still asleep and still living. He realized at that point what his mission was...to make the events that his great-grandfather remembered happening on that day to happen.
With just a single thought, Traveler transformed himself into the appearance of his great-grandfather as he appeared before he died in the future time that he left.