Part 4

Traveler noticed a tear welling up in Empath's eye. "You appear to be sad that Smurfette would now give her heart to another Smurf instead of you because of your absence in this timeline," Traveler commented.
"This smurf wants Smurfette to be happy regardless of who she intends to marry, Traveler," Empath said. "It's just not easy to see that she would soon turn her affections toward another Smurf, particularly Hefty."
"Hefty is one Smurf that this one has observed has a continual rivalry with you over receiving the full affections of Smurfette," Traveler said.
"Hefty is correct in his statement that he has known Smurfette for much longer than this smurf has known her," Empath said. "This smurf would want to see Hefty's happiness be fulfilled by whatever it may cost this smurf."
"Even if it's at the cost of your own happiness of being with Smurfette for the rest of your life?" Traveler asked.
"What this smurf wants to see is how this smurf would fare in Psychelia, having no knowledge of what has transpired between Hefty and Smurfette in the Smurf Village," Empath requested.
"That is what this one was intending to show you, Empath, in the hopes that you would not take your sacrifice of your future happiness lightly," Traveler said.
And in the next instant, Empath and Traveler appear in Psychelia, watching as Empath in the alternate timeline continued to go through his daily routines as a Psyche, with all his memories of being a Smurf seemingly erased. Empath could see that his alternate self didn't appear to be anything different in his behaviors from his fellow Psyches. "From what this smurf could sense, this smurf's alternate self appears to be...content," Empath observed.
"But this one senses that something within your alternate self is going to change how your fellow Psyches would perceive you, that your life in Psychelia will be much different because of this change," Traveler said.
As the two Smurfs continued to watch, the Psychelian instructor Adonis was leading a class in a physical exercise routine where they were to watch his moves and to emulate them. Empath was one of the students in that class.
"Remember, fellow Psyches, that your body and your mind must be in sync with one another, that a well-functioning body cannot exist without a well-functioning mind," Adonis said as he was going through the routines.
It was during the routines that Empath felt himself doing something different, which started with his making rhythmic grunting noises. "Uh-huh...uh-huh...uh-huh...uh-huh...uh-huh..."
"Psyche Student 1137-K, your vocalizations are becoming a disruption," Adonis warned. "Please control yourself and return to your lessons or this one will..."
"Uh-huh...uh-huh...uh-huh...uh-huh...uh-huh...," Empath continued to grunt as his movements now changed to just simply crouching up and down. The Psyche students that were with him recoiled and stood apart from Empath as they saw that he was no longer acting like a Psyche.
"Master Adonis, Empath is now acting like a savage being," one of the students cried out.
"Remain calm and do not provoke him, fellow Psyches," Adonis said. "This one will summon the Guard Elite to take him into custody where they will discover..."
Suddenly Empath hopped his way past them, with his grunts now getting louder. It appeared unto the other Psyches that Empath wanted to escape into the forest for some unknown purpose.
Soon the Guard Elite spotted Empath as he was hopping through Psychelia. They quickly raised up their energy staffs and blasted him with a powerful force that incapacitated him.
A Psychelian Medical officer appeared on the scene and did a brief examination of Empath. "This Psyche appears to have a physical condition that's affecting his behaviors," the medical officer said as he finished his examination. "We must bring him to the infirmary where we could make a full analysis of the situation."

Empath and Traveler watched as Empath's alternate self was brought to an examination chamber, where he was not only stripped of his restraining cuffs but also of his bodysuit, wearing only a ceremonial loincloth. Asclepius and Caduceus, the chief medical officers, handled the examination while Cassiopeia, a student working as an apprentice, monitored Empath's condition. From what anyone could sense, Empath's rhythmic grunting and movements did not cease.
After an hour of examination, Asclepius discovered what was wrong. "This Psyche is suffering from a condition of a sudden increase of hormones, which is driving him with a desire to mate with someone."
"Psyches should not even have this desire," Caduceus said. "This condition would only be inherent in savage creatures that cannot control their base desires."
"We are dealing with the prototype Psyche who has been raised among us as a Psyche, Caduceus," Asclepius said. "It would seem natural for this prototype to behave in ways that are not entirely befitting of a true Psyche."
"But what would happen if we do not treat this condition, Master Asclepius?" Cassiopeia asked.
"If his blood pressure continues to rise without any resolution to this situation...his condition is very likely to cause him to die," Asclepius said.
"Great Ancestors," Cassiopeia said. "We must find a way that we can restore Empath's normal Psychelian behaviors."
"We can try forcing Empath to enter a meditative state where he can mentally work to exert control over his own body's desires, Cassiopeia," Caduceus said. "But should that plan fail, we must come up with other options to use."
"This one understands, Master Caduceus," Cassiopeia said.
And so Traveler and Empath watched Cassiopeia make an effort by using the intercom system to communicate with Empath's alternate self and get him to start meditating so that he could calm himself down and exert control over his own body's desires. Empath seemed to comply as he now sat on the floor with his legs folded and his hands clasped together, closing his eyes as he tried to focus on controlling his breathing. For a while the meditation seemed to work, but then the medical staff noticed that Empath was starting to sweat greatly from the amount of effort he was trying to put into controlling his urges, until suddenly he broke out of the meditative position he was in and resumed his rhythmic grunting and movements.
"His condition is getting worse, Master Asclepius," Cassiopeia said. "This one senses that he will suffer complete heart failure in thirty minutes."
Psyche Master, we are not able to get Empath to exert control over his body's desires through meditation, Asclepius reported through telepathy.
I have sensed Empath's condition since it has started, Asclepius, the Psyche Master responded. It would seem that there is no choice but to proceed with physical bonding. Cassiopeia would have to be the one who will be Empath's mate.
This one understands, Psyche Master, Ascelpius said. He then turned to Cassiopeia. "You will have to go in there and physically bond with Empath in order to quell his desires, Cassiopeia."
"That is a very unorthodox suggestion for a solution that this one is uncertain of its consequences," Cassiopeia said.
"This order comes from the Psyche Master, Cassiopeia," Asclepius said. "You must do whatever he says or else you will be held responsible for Empath's termination from this life."
"This one understands and acknowledges," Cassiopeia said. As she approached the door to the examination room, her cuffs were removed from her ankles and wrists. "This one is ready to begin."
After Cassiopeia entered the room, she saw Empath crouched down and could feel the immense pain he was going through. "Empath Psyche," she gently spoke as she touched his shoulder.
Empath turned to see who it was. "Smurfette?" he asked.
"It is Cassiopeia Psyche, one of your fellow students," she answered. "This one knows the pain you are suffering from, and this one wishes to help you purge this desire from you. Whatever you want this one to do for you, this one will permit it."
Empath slowly reached out and touched Cassiopeia's face, feeling all around and through her hair. He pulled her close to him and kissed her on the lips.
Cassiopeia wasn't sure how to feel after the kiss. Part of her felt like she was being violated, and part of her felt like she wanted more. She reached out and embraced Empath to pull him close to her as they kissed again.
Asclepius and Caduceus continued to monitor Empath and Cassiopeia while having the windows to the examination room closed, as they felt it inappropriate for them to watch the physical bonding taking place. The activity inside the examination room seemed to go on for hours, but as the medical officers noticed and have sensed, Empath's hormonal levels and blood pressure were dropping steadily.
Then suddenly, Cassiopeia reported, "The physical bonding has been completed. Empath's normal Psychelian behaviors have resumed."
Asclepius and Cassiopeia met both Empath and Cassiopeia as they exited separately from each other through separate doors, both dressed in their Psychelian bodysuits. Both Empath and Cassiopeia appeared to be expressionless, but as the Empath and Traveler who were watching this alternate timeline could sense, they both felt somewhat different from how they were before the physical bonding happened.
"Return to your resting quarters, and the Psyche Master will decide what he will do with you both," Asclepius instructed.
"This one understands and acknowledges, Master Asclepius," Empath and Cassiopeia responded together.

During Empath's resting period, he entered the dream space with his partner Polaris Psyche, where Polaris noticed Empath balled up on the ground crying. "You seem to be disquieted since you have left the medical facility," Polaris commented. "May this one inquire what would be the problem?"
"This one has physically violated another Psyche, and this one feels unclean and unworthy of being called a Psyche because of that," Empath answered.
"But you are not a Psyche...at least not a regular Psyche," Polaris said.
"This one knows that this one is a prototype Psyche, Polaris," Empath said. "It doesn't change the fact of what this one has done to another Psyche. This one feels so shameful for having physically bonded to a female Psyche."
"And you feel that this one will regard you as a savage being because of that," Polaris said. "All this one can say is that you are at the very least confused about your identity among the Psyches. It is likely that this incident is only an isolated event that will not likely to happen again."
"But what if it were to happen again, Polaris?" Empath said. "This one should be bathed in the dissolution chamber to prevent such a thing from ever happening."
"Desiring the termination of your life upon yourself would not seem to be the wise answer, Empath," Polaris said. "You must allow the Psyche Master to do whatever he wants with you so that future situations like this do not arise."
"This one is no better than a member of the savage race of Species 0002," Empath said. "It would be beneficial for you not to ever associate yourself with this one."
Polaris sighed as he looked upon his fellow Psyche and partner, unable to do anything that would make Empath feel better about himself.

The next day, Empath and Cassiopeia were brought before the Psyche Master so he could talk to them in private in his chambers.
"I am contemplating what I should do with the both of you now that you have violated each other with this physical bonding you have engaged in," the Psyche Master spoke.
"This one is prepared to be exiled from Psychelia if that's what it will take to keep the other Psyches from following this one's example," Empath said.
"This one is willing to join Empath in the same sentence, Psyche Master, if that is what you would wish for us," Cassiopeia said.
"I didn't ask for your input on this matter," the Psyche Master said. "Indeed you should both be exiled from Psychelia, for you have both engaged in behaviors that have marked you as defiled among your fellow Psyches. However, I am willing to spare you both this punishment if you will both undergo a ritual cleansing and if you both agree that you should now be bonded together as lifemates should there ever be a future need for Empath to purge himself of these physical desires."
"This one does not understand why you would wish to sever our current relationships to our lifemates in favor of this new relationship, Psyche Master," Empath said.
"Nor does this one, Psyche Master," Cassiopeia said.
"This new relationship will only be discussed in my presence and in the presence of the Clerics that will be assigned to you," the Psyche Master said. "No one else in Psychelia is to ever know the nature of this new relationship. I expect your full cooperation in this matter. Acknowledge."
"This one understands and acknowledges, Psyche Master," both Empath and Cassiopeia said separately before they departed from his chambers.

By the end of the day, Polaris was informed by the Psychelian Counselors that he would no longer be sharing the same sleeping quarters with Empath as he was now being put up with Cassiopeia in hers. Polaris suspected that it had something to do with Empath mating with Cassiopeia, but he said nothing about it as he accepted the change with compliance.
Alone in their new quarters, Empath and Cassiopeia said nothing to each other as they rested on their beds and went to sleep. However, in the dream space that the both of them were now able to enter with each other, Cassiopeia looked at Empath and saw that he was by himself looking sad at what has happened.
"Empath Psyche, is there anything this one can do to help you feel better about yourself?" Cassiopeia asked.
"This one should never have entered into you like that, for it is not proper for a Psyche to desire such intimacy with another Psyche," Empath said.
"This one understands that within you is a need for physical intimacy, Empath," Cassiopeia said. "This one did feel ashamed for having experienced the pleasure of that intimacy, and this one also desires that such a thing should never have happened in the first place. However, this one cannot go back to the way this one was originally before having the experience."
"You shouldn't feel anything for this one except contempt, Cassiopeia," Empath said. "This one has violated you, and now you and this one are pariahs within our own community."
"You are correct that this one shouldn't feel anything for you but contempt, Empath," Cassiopeia said. "But all this one feels for you now is compassion, that you now need this one to quell your desires should they ever arise again."
"There is a place outside Psychelia that is drawing this one away from here, and a person in it that this one can no longer remember whom this one feels an intimate connection to," Empath said.
"This one can sense that, Empath," Cassiopeia said. "But over time, perhaps your memories of that person will fade into nothingness, if you will accept that this one will always be here for you in Psychelia, which is where you belong as one of us."
Empath looked at Cassiopeia when she said that. He could sense her desire to be intimate with him in ways that are more than just physical.
"Perhaps through you this one will become a true Psyche, Cassiopeia," Empath said, as the two of them leaned toward each other and kissed.