Part 8

Back in Gametron, on board the Carrier, Hefty was feeling the walls and noticing that they were slowly weakening and becoming less solid, like being inside an Imaginarium fantasy setting that was fading away. It was as if everything was turning into a jumble of numbers, digits, and symbols found on a computer screen right before Hefty's eyes. If the deletion process took a while to make the wall disappear completely, Hefty thought, then perhaps there may be a way out for him and Pixel.
He went over to Pixel, who had her head buried in her hands, looking down on the floor in despair. "Pixel, there may be a way for us to escape," Hefty said. "I still have power that Razor doesn't know anything about. We could smurf what's left of the ship and smurf it straight to Sarkamel's Citadel."
"Hefty, leave me alone," Pixel said, refusing to listen. "We have failed."
"We're only going to fail if we don't try," Hefty said. "Look at this...the wall is about to..."
And then Hefty saw, just as the room was growing dim, that Pixel's glow was also growing dim as well. "Pixel!" Hefty cried out, catching her before she fell down.
Pixel opened her eyes to see that Hefty had caught her and revived her. "You brought me back to life," she said, sounding grateful. "But how, and why did you do it?"
"I smurfed that because I need your help," Hefty said. "Now let's smurf out of here."
And so Pixel followed Hefty as they escaped the cell before it was completely deleted.

On the surface of the mesa outside of Sarkamel's Citadel, Razor's guards were herding the Tower Guardians into the citadel, with Tazer standing guard at the shuttlecraft to make sure nobody else would interfere in what was going to happen.
"Come in, my little Gametronians," a voice like Gargamel's, only louder and fiercer, spoke. "I have been expecting you. Soon you will all become part of me, and together we will be complete."
Inside the Citadel, on a giant throne sat Sarkamel, a giant being dressed in glowing red armor that looked very much like Gargamel. He watched as the Tower Guardians came inside one by one, only to be put into cages that hung from the inner chamber's walls where they each felt their energies being drained.
"Aaaah, yes, I can feel the power coursing through me...the power to shape the world into my image," Sarkamel said as he closed his eyes, taking deep breaths through his nose as if in deep meditation, savoring every moment.
Outside the Citadel, Tazer heard the sound of a disc slicing through the air, but didn't react in time to pull out his disc when the disc struck him and disintegrated him into nothingness. Auron caught the disc as it returned to him and then headed straight for the citadel.
However, Auron's actions did not go unnoticed. Sarkamel opened his eyes and realized something has happened. "Be alert, Razor," he warned. "I sense the presence of a Game Warrior on the mesa. He is coming to destroy me."
"RAZOR!" Auron's voice shouted from outside the citadel.
Razor stepped outside and saw Auron with his disc in hand, ready to do combat with his adversary. "I don't know how you survived, slave, but it doesn't matter," Razor said. "Prepare to terminate."
Razor pulled out his disc and threw it at Auron, who used his disc to block the throw and then threw his disc at Razor as a counterattack.

Hefty and Pixel reached the control panel of the Carrier that was near one of the large windows overlooking the scene. "Pixel, see what you can smurf with the controls," Hefty said. "We're going to steer what's left of this ship over to the Citadel."
"I'm on it, Hefty," Pixel said, as she pressed some buttons. She typed in the security code JUSTIN BAILEY to gain access to all the ship's functions.
Hefty closed his eyes as he concentrated on doing something he never thought he would ever do: use power that supposedly came from within himself. As he did, he could feel his hands coursing with power that flowed from within.
As that section of the ship passed through the wall that was deleting the entire Carrier and remained intact, Hefty looked at the Citadel and noticed how much it looked like Gargamel's castle. "Okay, you big creep, this is is," he muttered while the section of the ship drew even closer. "It's going to be between you and me, and only one of us is going to smurf out of here."

Empath was in Handy's workshop with Snappy and Slouchy, playing against the Game Master in his own game, when Polaris Psyche had entered looking for Handy and found Empath instead. "Empath, what are you doing in here?" Polaris asked.
"This smurf is currently playing a game against the Game Master in the hopes of Hefty might be set free, Polaris," Empath answered.
"And he's smurfing a really good job playing it too," Sassette added.
"Yeah, he's going to be smurfing that imp's tail when all is smurfed and done," Snappy said, sounding excited.
"Handy will not be pleased if he returns from his errands and finds that you have been playing games with the Game Wand instead of letting him try to find a way to get Hefty out of the Game Wand, Empath," Polaris warned.
"Aw, come on," Snappy groaned. "You're not going to smurf on us to Handy, are you?"
"This may be the only way we can smurf Hefty out of there," Sassette said.
"Not only that, Polaris, but this may be the only way to keep others from being taken away as well," Empath said as he was playing.
Polaris sighed, uncertain of what to do. "This one will inform Handy that you are currently watching over his equipment in his workshop, although this one does feel rather uncomfortable in not being completely honest to him who has entrusted you with the care of his equipment."
Both Snappy and Sassette sighed. "You won't regret this, Polaris," Snappy said.
"Even if we will for not listening to Handy in the first smurf," Sassette said.
Polaris left the workshop to head elsewhere in the village to attend to other matters. On his way there, he ran into Papa Smurf. "Excuse me, Polaris, but have you seen where Empath has smurfed to lately?" Papa Smurf asked.
"He's currently monitoring the equipment in Handy's workshop to make sure nobody else interferes with his rescue mission concerning Hefty, Papa Smurf," Polaris answered.
"Hmmmm," Papa Smurf said, looking at Polaris in a scrutinizing manner as if he was examining the verity of Polaris' statement.
"Papa Smurf, is there something wrong?" Polaris politely asked.
Papa Smurf then sighed. "It's nothing, though I could have smurfed that I had a funny feeling about what Empath may be smurfing right about now. I'll let you continue with your job of monitoring the village and let this matter smurf."
Polaris watched as Papa Smurf walked away. "This one understands, Papa Smurf."

The remains of the Carrier now drifted to the rooftop of the Citadel. "That's it, Pixel," Hefty said as they got close enough to the roof. "I'm going to go in and distract Sarkamel while you go down and keep yourself safe from Razor."
"Hefty, you can't!" Pixel said, crying out in fear. "You'll be deleted!"
Hefty looked at Pixel as she accosted him, trying to keep him from doing what he needed to do. Hefty felt as if Smurfette was doing the same thing here at this moment. "It will be all right," Hefty said, giving her one last kiss before he jumped onto the roof and headed down the chimney into the Citadel.
Pixel also jumped off what was left of the Carrier and slid down the roof of the Citadel toward the ground, where she could see Auron and Razor locked in disc combat with each other. "You should have joined me, Auron," Razor cried out as he threw his disc at Auron. "We would have made a great team together."
"I'll never join those who refuse to believe in the Creators, Razor," Auron said, blocking Razor's disc attack with his own and then launching his own attack at Razor.
"You're only prolonging the inevitable," Razor said when he blocked Auron's attack. "You'll eventually lose and I and Sarkamel will reign supreme over Gametron."
"Over my dead encoding you will," Auron said, dodging Razor's attack and receiving his disc to block another.
Inside the Citadel, Hefty found himself face to face with his main nemesis Sarkamel. "I'm so glad that you have arrived in my humble abode, Game Warrior," the towering giant sneered. "Let's see how you fare against many rounds of my Dance of Death." And just as Sarkamel said that, a gamepad appeared right below Hefty's feet.
"Smurf it on, Sarkamel...I'm not afraid of you," Hefty challenged.

While Hefty began playing the Dance of Death in Gametron, stepping on the gamepad direction buttons to intercept each direction pad arrow that came his way, and while Auron and Razor continued to battle it out with each with their discs, Empath and the Game Master were battling it with each other using their game machines to play the same game together. The Game Master played as hard as he could against his opponent, feeling that he now had a worthy opponent to take on. "Ooh, these Smurfs are really good," the Game Master said. "But one way or another, they're going to lose against me...I will guarantee it."
In the Smurf Village, Handy was finished dealing with another errand when he, Nat, and Slouchy noticed a group of Smurfs crowded around his workshop. "Handy, you've got to smurf this!" one of the Smurfs said. "Empath is smurfing multiplayer against the Game Master and seems to be winning!"
"Empath's playing with the Game Wand?" Handy said, having a feeling that something bad is about to happen. "Oh no! That's what I didn't want any Smurf to do!"
He made his way inside his workshop, pushing through the Smurfs who were gathered around watching Empath playing the game and cheering him on. "Laddie, you're missing out on the battle of the ages!" Duncan said to Handy.
"Battle of the ages?" Handy asked, sounding displeased. "Don't tell me that Empath allowed for this to smurf on while I was gone."
"I just smurfed in here when I saw Empath, Snappy, and Slouchy already in here with the Game Wand, Handy," Duncan said. "I couldn't help smurfing the news to others who might be interested in knowing."
"Well, this is my workshop, and I'm not going to let it be smurfed into an arcade if I can help it," Handy said in an angry tone.
"Oh, come on, laddie...let the boys play the game and show up that annoying little imp on the other end of this," Duncan pleaded.
"If Empath loses the game, he might get smurfed into the game and there would be no way of smurfing him out, and who knows what else may happen," Handy tried to warn his friends, although he could see that his options were running out.
"Empath's not going to lose this game," Duncan said. "He's got the spirit of a McSmurf in him to see that he will smurf his opponent home crying to his mother when he's through with him."
Handy found himself unable to get his fellow Smurfs away from playing the game or even watching Empath play like an expert. He just sighed and hoped for the best.

Back in Gametron, Hefty had beaten Sarkamel in a few rounds of the Dance of Death, which felt rather exhilarating to him because he never had to physically dance against an adversary of his to defeat him. "Getting tired yet, my little Game Warrior?" Sarkamel taunted. "I am prepared to give you all the rest you need when you become part of me."
"I'm just getting myself smurfed up for you, Sarkamel," Hefty stated boldly. "You'll have to smurf better than that to try to defeat me."
"You'll want better, you'll get better, but you'll regret trying to challenge me," Sarkamel said as he began the next round of the game.
Meanwhile, outside the Citadel, Pixel watched Razor and Auron continue to fight tirelessly against each other with their discs, neither of them able to get the better of the other. They both felt as if they had met their match, as if this was the battle they waited all their lives to engage in and now had the opportunity to show their best.
"You're very persistent, Auron," Razor said when he received his disc after a failed attack was blocked by his opponent.
"I'm also better than you, Razor," Auron said. He then launched his next attack, which this time seared right through Razor's disc, breaking it in two, and ripped a gaping hole in his opponent's helmet. Razor's eyes became black as he lost power and fell to the floor unconscious.
Sarkamel realized that Razor had been beaten in the disc battle and was now lying lifeless, unable to do anything to stop Auron. "Razor, all my functions are now yours," he spoke while he was distracted from his Dance of Death game. "Take them and rid me of this annoying little Game Warrior."
Razor then arose from the ground, this time growing in size until he was a giant like Sarkamel. He blocked Auron's entry into the Citadel. "Your Creator cannot help you now, my little Gametronian," he spoke in a deep ominous voice.
Auron realized that he now had a hopeless battle on his hands against an adversary that he couldn't defeat. But he wasn't going to give up.

Empath and the Game Master were now down to the final battle against each other in the multiplayer game they were playing together. Sarkamel challenged the both of them to the Dance of Death, and the two players followed along to the best of their ability to intercept all the direction pad arrows that came towards their on-screen player.
"Come on, Empath, you can smurf it," Snappy said. "You're the best Game Wand player in the village."
"Aye, laddie, give that Game Master a good smurfing," Duncan said, cheering Empath on.
The Game Master followed as best as he could, but somehow he found that his skills as a gamer weren't enough, as his opponent was matching him move for move, slowly wearing him down. "No! This isn't possible!" he cried out. "I can't be beaten! I won't be beaten!"
"Do it for Hefty, Empath," his opponent could hear in his thoughts from the gentle voice of Smurfette, spurring him on to victory.
Then after a minute or so more of playing, the game finally declared Empath to be the winner. "Yes! You did it! Empath, you're the greatest!" Snappy shouted.
"That was quite a victory you smurfed there, laddie," Duncan said as the others cheered. "Hefty would surely be proud of you if he was here."
At his house, the Game Master was sobbing as he was clutching his controller like a wounded animal in need of care. "This isn't fair!" he cried out in despair, realizing that he had lost the game to a Smurf.

Meanwhile, back in Gametron, Sarkamel found himself losing power as Hefty continued to play the Dance of Death against him, keeping pace with the arrows as they came faster and faster. "NO...it can't be! How can a puny Game Warrior like you even stand against me for so many rounds?" Sarkamel ranted.
"That's because I'm not a Game Warrior, Sarkamel," Hefty said, grinning. "I'm a Smurf and proud of being one."
Sarkamel began to shrank as he was losing more and more of his power to Hefty winning against him. "I'll get you...I'll get all of you if that's the last thing I ever do," he cried out in anguish while he shrank until he was no bigger than Smurf size.
Then all of a sudden, the Citadel began to disappear as the Tower Guardians reappeared, until Sarkamel found himself alone facing off against Auron, Hefty, and Pixel, with Auron fully armed and ready to send him into nothingness.
"You're going to smurf me home if that's the last thing you'll ever do," Hefty said as he grabbed Sarkamel by his arms and held him tight.
Then suddenly both Hefty and Sarkamel disappeared as they both disintegrated into light particles and were raised into the starry heavens above while Auron and Pixel watched in amazement.
"Hefty must truly be a Creator after all, if he has helped us defeat Sarkamel and bring freedom to our world once again," Auron said, staring into the space that Hefty and Sarkamel disappeared into.
"Auron, look!" Dyson said, as he looked around toward their world. "Every tower is lighting up. Everything is going back to the way it used to be."
"Oh, what a beautiful sight it is," Pixel said, directing Auron's attention to what they were now seeing, as everything in Gametron was now restored to its original glowing beauty. Then she kissed Auron fully on the lips, which made his circuit lines glow brighter for a moment.
"Thank you, Hefty, and may you return safely to the Creators," Auron said silently.