Part 4

Empath had a pleasant sleep that night, but in the morning was woken up by his friend Polaris Psyche paying an urgent visit.
"Polaris, what an unexpected surprise," Empath said as he greeted him by the door of his house. "What brings you to our village on this morning?"
"It's an urgent matter that this one has sensed, that this one's lifemate Sympathy has alerted this one of," Polaris said, his tone having a hint of grimness to it.
Empath realized that that the situation was serious. He let Polaris take him to the village infirmary, where Doctor Smurf was watching over a group of patients that seemed to be very sick, almost like they were near death.
"This smurf senses that there is a serious illness that has befallen these Smurfs, Polaris," Empath said.
"You are correct in that assessment, Empath," Polaris said. "It has occured to these Smurfs overnight, which this one has sensed came from something they have ingested on the previous night."
"The moonberries," Empath realized. "Chatty and Nosey were handing these out to the Smurfs at his Wake N Bake Shop last night, and they were behaving rather strangely, trying to eat the roof off the shop."
"This one has detected that particular substance in their systems, but fortunately that is not the cause of their current health problem," Polaris said.
"Is there any way that we can heal these Smurfs of whatever it is they've came down with, Polaris?" Empath asked.
"The matter is beyond what our own minds-eyes are able to heal, Empath," Polaris said. "This one has tried, but it is too powerful. It seems to be magical in nature, which is why this one is unsuccessful in restoring them to full health."
Empath nodded with understanding. "See what you can do to help those patients, Polaris. This smurf is going to see if we can find any answers behind the existence of the moonberries."
"May the Ancestors guide you with wisdom in that particular endeavor, Empath," Polaris said.

Fiona was shocked when she heard from her friends what had just happened.
"Great Smurfiny Crickets, we have allowed our fellow Smurfs to eat those moonberries and they became sick?" Fiona said.
"That's just what happened, Fiona," Meaghan said. "I thought that serving those moonberries in place of smurfnip was a bad idea, but did Chatty and Nosey even listen to me? Nope, they just went ahead and smurfed it."
"That's really sad," Psycheliana said. "I hope we can find a way that we can counter this sickness before it gets much worse."
"That's why Chatty and Nosey had to close down the Wake N Bake," Miracle said. "Those Smurfs were acting so weird smurfing those moonberries that they started eating the roof of the shop."
"I knew that that place was very unsmurfy from the time it had opened up until now, my fellow Smurfs," Fiona said.
"Oh, please, sister, don't smurf me about the ungodliness of smurfing a place to have smurfnip," Meaghan said.
"I'm not going to back down from my position on it, not now and certainly not ever, Meaghan," Fiona said. "No Smurf should ever have any business polluting their bodies with that evil plant."
"Please, let's just focus on what we can smurf for our friends who are lying sick in the infirmary," Psycheliana said. "We've got to know where those moonberries even smurfed from."
"My father thinks they are probably magic in nature," Sophia said. "Grandpa Smurf is currently studying them in his lab right now, so we should know soon what their origin actually is."
"And then what are we going to do?" Goofy asked.
"Honestly, I have no idea what we are going to do, Goofy," Sophia said. "But I'm sure that Uncle Empath already has a plan smurfed in store."

Chatty and Nosey sat with their wives, looking miserable about the whole situation that has befallen their customers.
"How could we possibly know that they would become sick on those moonberries?" Chatty said. "I didn't think they would smurf any harm to them."
"Maybe we should have asked questions about the moonberries when we had the chance," Nosey said. "We only had one, they all had a bunch of them, and just kept smurfing them like they were smurfing out of style."
"This whole idea of smurfing up a brew-and-smurfnip place was one that was going to fail in the long smurf," Chatty said. "We should have smurfed that right from the very start."
"You had good intentions, dear," Blabber said, trying to console him. "You just didn't account for this mistake to even happen."
"I think we should smurf that Trenchcoat a good lesson for smurfing us those moonberries in the first place," Snoopy said. "He practically brought this whole plague upon our business with that discovery."
Just then Trenchcoat came by, acting like he did nothing wrong. "So what's up, you Smurfs?" he asked politely. "What's with the long faces all of a sudden?"
"You practically poisoned those Smurfs with those moonberries, and now our brew-and-smurfnip shop is closed down because of it!" Chatty shouted.
"Hey, man, I just smurfed the goods...I didn't make them eat the berries," Trenchcoat said. "They should be careful about how many of those things they smurf into their mouths because, you know..."
"Just where exactly did you find those moonberries out in the forest, Trenchcoat?" Blabber asked.
"Out by the waterfalls," Trenchcoat answered. "You want me to lead you to them? Because I can surely show you just where they are."
"Maybe we should bring you to Papa Smurf, so he and Empath will know what to smurf with you, you dirty rat!" Nosey said.
"Yeah, because he's the last chance those Smurfs have at life, and that may be your last chance at redemption, buddy," Snoopy said.
"Fine, bring me to Papa Smurf, then," Trenchcoat said, sounding like he had no fear of any punishment he might receive.
"That would be our pleasure," Chatty said.

Meanwhile, Empath got his answer from Papa Smurf, who had finished his research on the mysterious moonberries.
"It's just as I have figured," Papa Smurf said. "These berries are not natural, but created by magic. They have the same magic properties of a relic that we had once encountered before...the Orb of Euphoria."
"The Orb of Euphoria?" Empath said. "But I thought we destroyed it when we dealt with that witch Allura using it to bring Poet and several other Smurfs under her control."
"Apparently someone must have rebuilt it, for these berries are capable of producing a similar kind of euphoria as the one the orb produced by touching it," Papa Smurf said.
"Then we must find out where these berries came from, and who's been creating these berries and for what particular purpose, Papa Smurf," Empath said.
Just then, there was a knocking on Papa Smurf's door. He opened it and found that Chatty and Nosey were there outside with Trenchcoat. "Excuse me, Papa Smurf, but this fine young Smurf has something to say about these moonberries," Chatty said.
"Oh?" Papa Smurf said. "Just what is it that you know about these moonberries, Trenchcoat?"
"Just what I have told these two Smurfs, Papa Smurf," Trenchcoat said. "I have found them smurfing on a bush near the waterfalls, and I thought these would be a smurfy thing for Chatty and Nosey to serve to their customers at the Wake N Bake, so I smurfed myself a bunch of them."
"You should lead this smurf where you have found them, so that this smurf could study them more closely to determine its origin, Trenchcoat," Empath said.
"Uh, sure, man, I'd be happy to," Trenchcoat said.
"What are you going to smurf about Trenchcoat now that he has admitted to finding these moonberries, Empath?" Nosey asked.
"We'll deal with the matter later, Nosey," Empath said. "We're going to the place where Trenchcoat found the moonberries first and foremost."
"Just be careful out there, Empath," Papa Smurf warned. "I'll be working on a remedy that will hopefully restore the affected Smurfs to normal."

Empath, Chatty, and Nosey followed Trenchcoat to the place near the waterfalls where he found the moonberries. "There it is, the bush smurfing those fantastic berries," Trenchcoat said.
The three Smurfs looked at the bush in wonder. "I have never seen a bush smurfing those kind of berries before in my life," Chatty said.
"Me neither," Nosey said.
Empath touched the bush and sensed something. "This bush is a magical creation, as are all these berries," Empath said. "It was planted for the purpose of luring some Smurf into collecting these berries so that someone could poison the Smurfs with them."
"But who would smurf such a thing like that, Empath?" Nosey asked.
"Sounds like someone who has a grudge against the Smurfs, among the enemies that you still have," Trenchcoat said.
Just then, a beautiful young woman who was dressed like a princess appeared. "Why, Smurfs, it's been a long time since we last met each other," she said in a voice that Empath recognized.
"Allura?" Empath asked.
"So you do recognize me after all these years," the woman said. "You destroyed my beautiful gift to the Smurfs, and reduced me to the form of a repulsive frog. But I have forgiven you for that. I hope that you Smurfs have enjoyed my new gift to you, a gift that I'm sure you will cherish forever."
"So you're the one who has created these poison berries," Chatty said, realizing it for himself.
"And now what do you want with us?" Nosey asked. "Just to smurf it in our faces with your wickedness?"
"I just want one thing...Empath. Then you and all your friends can go home peacefully," Allura said.
"Whatever it is you want from this smurf, Allura, you're not going to get it," Empath stated boldly.
"It's not like you have a choice in the matter, Empath," Allura said. "You can come with me the easy way or the hard way." Suddenly she grabbed Empath by the wrist, and he could feel his own strength draining from him.
Chatty, Nosey, and Trenchcoat watched in horror as Allura transformed into a more hideous form, that of an old ugly woman with dark skin. "Surprise!" she said. "I am Allura's granddaughter Beguiler, and I will keep Empath in my lair to work in it as my slave, in exchange for your Smurfs being set free the curse of my glowing poison berries." Then before their eyes, Beguiler disappeared and took the unconscious form of Empath with her.
"Great Smurfs, we've got to warn Papa Smurf!" Chatty said.
"Hopefully somebody will be able to rescue Empath," Nosey said.
Soon the three Smurfs ran back to the village as fast as they could.

Back in the village, Psycheliana was busy with her studies on how to control her own powers when she sensed something in her mind. It was her father Empath.
"Father!" she cried out, seeing him being taken by a hideous female figure in a vision before it disappeared from her sight.
Miracle was standing next to her when she had the vision. "Liana, what is it?" he asked politely.
"My father's been smurfnapped by somebody, and being taken somewhere to be her prisoner," Psycheliana said. "I've got to rescue him before it's too late."
"Hold on, Liana," Miracle said. "Maybe we should both go together. Who knows if whoever smurfnapped your Papa Smurf may also be able to smurfnap you in the process?"
"Then we should both go, if your magic is able to overpower hers," Psycheliana said. "We don't have a second to waste."
Just then, Chatty, Nosey, and Trenchcoat showed up in the village, arriving at the spot where Psycheliana was practicing. "Liana, your Papa Smurf's been smurfnapped by this evil witch named Beguiler," Chatty said.
"Yeah," Nosey said. "She's behind the moonberries, and those Smurfs won't be cured unless Empath becomes her slave."
"I don't trust that witch to smurf up her end of the bargain, even if Empath becomes her slave," Trenchcoat said.
"I'm not sure that I would trust her myself, Trench," Psycheliana said. "Anyway, me and Miracle are going to smurf care of this matter ourselves."
"You know where you may find her?" Chatty asked.
"Miracle may know, if he can sense magic like he normally does," Nosey said.
"Well, what are you waiting for?" Trenchcoat said.
"Hold on, Miracle, here we smurf," Psycheliana said, causing her telepathic powers to lift him up along with herself as they flew off in the direction of where the witch had taken Empath.