At the same time, as the Smurfs were celebrating Empath's victory, Hefty suddenly reappeared, looking as he did before he got transported into the world of Gametron. "Michty me, laddies, look who just arrived," Duncan said as soon as he saw Hefty materialize out of thin air.
"Hefty! You're back!" Handy said, sounding very surprised.
"I guess I am, Handy," Hefty said as soon as he got his bearings. "You wouldn't believe all the trouble I smurfed through just to get home."
"You should have smurfed it, Hefty," Snappy said. "Empath was smurfing the Game Master's tail playing that game against him in multiplayer and winning."
"Oh, so that's how I finally smurfed home," Hefty said, realizing what had happened. "Well, Empath, what were you expecting...for me to smurf you a pat on the back or something?"
"You don't need to thank this smurf if you feel totally uncomfortable doing so, Hefty," Empath said. "Seeing that you're safely home among us is all the honor this smurf will ever need from you."
"Well, I still think Empath needs some gratitude for what he's smurfed you, Hefty," Duncan said. "Trying to smurf you home by winning a game is not something that I would smurf lightly by any means."
"Ah, just let Hefty smurf his way and leave him alone about that, Duncan," Handy said. "If he doesn't want to smurf Empath any gratitude, that's his problem."
At that moment, Papa Smurf had entered the workshop with Smurfette and Polaris. "I can see that you smurfed quite an adventure when you were smurfed away from us like that, Hefty," Papa Smurf said as he greeted Hefty.
"It's not something that I would want to repeat smurfing through, Papa Smurf, but it was surely an adventure worth smurfing about," Hefty said. "There were these smurfs in this world called Gametron that looked something like us, only they were smurfing these glowing outfits, sort of like what Empath and Polaris wear."
"And apparently some of those people were friendly and some others were hostile, if what this one is sensing from your memories is accurate, Hefty," Polaris said.
"I wonder if there were any females in this world that you have visited, Hefty," Smurfette said, sounding curious.
"There was this one who reminded me of you, Smurfette, but her heart was already smurfed to someone else there," Hefty responded.
"I hope that after all this, you have smurfed a valuable lesson in smurfing games on the Game Wand when the tavern is closed, Hefty," Papa Smurf said, trying hard not to sound like he was being too harsh with Hefty on the subject.
"I know it was wrong, Papa Smurf," Hefty said. "I just wanted to be the first to boast about beating the game before anyone else did. Now I'm just glad to have survived the game when I was smurfing it for real."
"And I'm certainly glad that you did smurf home, Hefty, even through all you had to smurf in order to do that," Smurfette said, giving Hefty a kiss on the cheek.
"Come, laddie, let's celebrate your return with a smurfy glass of Vita-Juice for you," Duncan said, putting his arm around Hefty's shoulder as they walked out of Handy's workshop together.
"If you're going to smurf a glass with me, Gutsy, that's fine with me," Hefty said.
"Of course I will, Hefty," Duncan said. "And the name is Duncan."
Polaris stayed behind with Papa Smurf as the other Smurfs left Handy's workshop together to celebrate Hefty's return. "This one doesn't understand the reason for celebrating Hefty's safe return if he actually deserves punishment for violating the rules concerning the Game Wand, Papa Smurf," Polaris said.
"I think Hefty has been punished enough by having to smurf his way back home in the world that he has been smurfed into, Polaris," Papa Smurf said. "If anything, it should help make Hefty a better Smurf to realize the potential dangers of disobedience before it's too late for him to smurf anything about it."
"This one apparently still has a lot to learn from the Smurfs when it comes to the appropriate application of forgiveness and punishment when dealing with such infractions to your laws, Papa Smurf," Polaris said.
"When you love somebody very much, you will know how to properly discipline those whom you love so that they will smurf their lessons well, Polaris," Papa Smurf said.
Empath's personal journal.
With Hefty safely returned to us from being transported into Gametron, Handy was able to safely remove the Gametron game from the Game Wand without any problems in the hopes that nobody else among us will be transported into that world by accident. However, this smurf believes that the Game Master had purposely altered the game in order to accomplish this task, for reasons that this smurf could not begin to understand, although the Smurflings believe it is because he had suffered his first loss to Grouchy in another game. Nonetheless, it has inspired Handy to develop some new safer games for us to play on the Game Wand, including one that is what he calls 'a simple run-and-jump platform game'.
Although Hefty has currently retired from playing Game Wand games and has stuck mostly to playing real physical games, his adventure of being in the world of Gametron is still fresh in his mind, including meeting the people that have helped him find his way back home.
One night at Tapper's Tavern, most of the other Smurfs were gathered around playing one of Handy's new games for the Game Wand, particularly the run-and-jump platform game where a Smurf had to get through the entire Smurf forest in order to rescue Smurfette.
"This game is just so cute, but why is it called Rescue In Gargamel's Castle when Gargamel himself doesn't smurf an appearance in it?" Smurfette asked.
"It's just where the Smurfs have to rescue you from, that's all," Handy answered.
"Maybe that numpty wizard knows that he can't defeat the Smurfs no matter how hard he tries," Duncan said.
"Or more likely Handy may be saving Gargamel's appearance for another game like this, Duncan," Brainy said. "I just think the game controls are a bit odd, having you smurf the up direction on the gamepad twice in order to jump in the direction that you're smurfing."
"But all you do is rescue Smurfette over and over when you smurf her at the castle," Snappy said, sounding bored. "That's going to smurf pretty old really fast."
"Well, what kind of game were you hoping to smurf on the Game Wand?" Nat asked.
"I don't know," Snappy answered. "Maybe one where you're smurfing yourself into as much trouble as you can, breaking things and beating up Smurfs left and right."
"And trying to smurf away from the police," Slouchy said, realizing what Snappy was thinking of. "Yeah, that type of game's going to smurf pretty popular around here."
"I hope that I get to be the star of Handy's next Game Wand game when it smurfs out in the future," Sassette said.
"Yeah, right, like anyone in this village wants to smurf as you in the game, Sassy," Snappy scoffed.
Meanwhile, Empath was having a private talk with Tapper at the counter. "This smurf can't help imagining the kind of world Hefty was traveling through when he was trapped in Gametron, Tapper," Empath said. "From what this smurf has heard, it looked like a really fascinating and yet also really dangerous world that this smurf wishes to have experienced firsthand."
"I don't see how you couldn't experience it firsthand if you still have the Imaginarium to visit, Empath, although it would probably pale in comparison with what Hefty has personally experienced," Tapper said.
"That's very true, Tapper," Empath said. "You're probably wondering what it would be like to firsthand experience being in heaven with the Almighty, seeing the New Jerusalem that you say He is building for those who believe in His only begotten Son. It must make you so anxious for that day to come when you will see it for real."
"Indeed it does, my friend, which is why I smurf my days trying to smurf a life that is pleasing unto the Almighty, although that is because of what He has already smurfed for me and not what I can smurf for Him in order to achieve that kind of prize," Tapper said. "However, I can rest assured that when that day smurfs, it will be truly worth the wait, because I know it will be better than what I can imagine it to be."
"These Gametronians believe that they will someday join their Creators in a world of eternal light, much like you believe you will join yours in one," Empath said. "This smurf can only wonder how they will react if they knew from you what your Creator is like, and whether they will believe in Him."
"There's no telling what may happen, Empath, but I know that the Almighty's Word must be preached to every creature in all nations as a witness of Him and His goodness," Tapper said. "All we can smurf is to plant the seed in faith and let the Almighty smurf the rest, for as Paul the apostle said, one plants and another waters, but it is God alone who makes the seed grow."
"Well, even if Hefty doesn't thank this smurf for my efforts in helping him to get home, this smurf is honored to have done so for his sake, and for that this smurf can rest easy," Empath said as he took another sip of his ale.
"Your efforts will be rewarded someday, Empath," Tapper said, lifting up his glass and taking a sip as he smiled at the thought.
"Hey, laddie, are you going to come smurf this game or not?" Duncan called out.
"Hold on, Duncan, this smurf is coming," Empath replied. "Well, Tapper, it looks like this smurf is going to play doubles with Duncan on Handy's latest game to see who is the better rescuer of Smurfette from Gargamel's castle."
"May the luck of the Smurfish be with you, and may the best player win," Tapper said, as Empath headed toward the Game Wand to join the others.