Part 5

Empath woke up to find that he was now outside the Smurf Village...but something about it was wrong. The houses all looked run-down in various states of disrepair, like they have been neglected for years.
He went inside the village and saw all the Smurfs and Smurfettes in it, but now they looked as if they were sick and unhealthy. They were staggering around with bags under their eyes, spots all over their faces, and needle marks on their arms. It was like they had just turned into the walking dead.
And that wasn't all. He saw some of his fellow Smurfs just watching over their children with neglect while they shot themselves up with all types of addictive substances, and even the grown children were ingesting all sorts of pills like they were candy.
"Great Ancestors!" Empath exclaimed. "What has happened when this smurf was asleep?"
"The destruction of our village has happened...all because you allowed smurfnip to be legalized in it," an accusatory voice spoke behind him. Empath turned and saw Papa Smurf standing there with Smurfette, Hefty, Tapper, and Duncan McSmurf.
"Papa Smurf, this smurf has never meant for this to happen," Empath said.
"But it has happened, Empath," Hefty said. "You allowed one drug to smurf hold of this village, and from that point on other drugs started to be legalized, and before we knew it things smurfed a turn for the worse."
"I am smurfly disappointed in you, my fellow Empath," Tapper said. "You have just smurfed the gates of Hades wide open, and now many Smurfs will be entering into it, and it's all your fault!"
"You're not the brave laddie that I once was proud of smurfing beside in battle!" Duncan said. "I don't even want to smurf of your name anymore, you traitor!"
"Even our own daughter is being smurfed over by these drugs, Empath...our own daughter!" Smurfette said in an angry tone. "It makes me wonder why I have married you in the first place!"
"It's time that we removed you from being the village leader, for you no longer deserve that role, Empath," Papa Smurf said, as the five Smurfs drew closer and closer to Empath.
Empath screamed, and in his screaming he woke up to find that he was in a stone-lined chamber with a chain around his ankle. He tried to break free of the chain, but he was unable to because of his strength being weak. "Where am I?" he asked.
"You're in my chambers," a female voice spoke. He looked and saw that Beguiler was sitting in a window with two hideous birdlike creatures perched next to her. "And I'm sure you're familiar with the object that's sitting next to you."
Empath looked at it. "The Orb of Euphoria," he said, recognizing it from the last time he saw it. "You're going to have this smurf touch it so you would bring this smurf under your control."
"That's right," Beguiler said. "You can feel your own strength getting weaker because of it, and soon you'll be wanting to touch it so that you can feel strong again. But when you do, you won't need to feel anything but the desire to keep touching it so that you can be my slave."
"You'll never get this smurf to touch that orb, you witch," Empath said. "This smurf would rather die than let you ever have control of this smurf for anything."
"Such a strong will you must have," Beguiler said mockingly. "In time that strong will will be broken, and I will have you right where I want you. I'll leave you alone to contemplate whether you will give in to me, because I do desire to keep you for a very long time."
And Beguiler left the window laughing, leaving Empath alone in his imprisonment, struggling as hard as he could to break free before temptation would set in. He promised himself that, if he would get himself free, he would never let his village succumb to the lure of any other drugs that anyone would dare to bring in.

Soon Psycheliana and Miracle showed up at a place that Psycheliana only recognized from her father's memories. "This is Allura's hideout," she said.
"You mean that old witch who tried to capture Uncle Poet and his friends with that Orb of Euphoria?" Miracle asked.
"That very same one, Miracle," Psycheliana answered. "We must be careful if that's who we're dealing with here. Who knows what she has planned for anyone who tries to rescue Papa?"
"Just smurf us down here at the entrance," Miracle said. Psycheliana lowered herself and Miracle down onto the snow-covered bridge before they both entered Allura's hideout very carefully.
They saw nobody in the main chamber except for Empath, who was still chained to the wall next to the Orb of Euphoria. Empath then saw who entered the chamber. "Liana, Miracle, is that you?" Empath asked.
"Yes, it is us, Papa," Psycheliana said. "We're going to smurf you out of here!"
Just then, chains began to appear out of the walls. "Liana, watch out!" Empath cried out.
The chains suddenly grabbed Psycheliana and bound her fast. "Miracle, help!" she cried out.
"Abracadabra, alakazam!" Miracle said, extending his right hand toward Psycheliana. Suddenly the chains that clamped around her wrists and ankles were broken, but soon he found himself dealing with chains trying to bind him as well.
"Get your smurfs off my friend!" Psycheliana said, using her strength to rip the chains right out of the walls and break them to pieces.
"Well, well, who do we have here?" Beguiler said as she returned to the window. "Intruders in my lair, trying to free my prisoner! Birds, attack them!"
"Uh oh, we've got company," Psycheliana said as she saw a flock of birdlike creatures suddenly swooping down and attacking them.
"You get Uncle Empath out of his chains, I'll deal with these creatures," Miracle said, using his magic to turn the horrible creations into harmless-looking ones.
Psycheliana used her strength to break Empath's chains around his ankles. Already he could feel his own strength returning. "Let's say we end this the way Poet did so many years ago, Liana," Empath said.
"But how?" Psycheliana asked. "We can't touch the orb, or we'll come under its power."
Empath found the handle of a broom lying nearby. "This should do the trick," he said as he stuck one end of the handle under the orb in its resting perch and used his strength to dislodge it.
Beguiler saw what Empath was doing. "No! Don't break my orb!" she cried out.
But soon the orb was dislodged, and it began bouncing down a set of stairs until it again broke into pieces at the bottom.
"I'll get you for this, you miserable Smurfs," Beguiler said in an angry voice. "Just you wait until I restore my orb, and then I'll..."
"Abracadabra, alakazam!" Miracle said, aiming his magic hand toward Beguiler. Soon she was suddenly turned into a harmless toad who hopped away.
"A fitting fate for somebody following in her grandmother's foosteps," Empath said, watching what had happened to Beguiler.
"I have sensed that the breaking of the orb has also restored our fellow Smurfs to normal again," Psycheliana said.
"That's good news," Miracle said. "Let's get out of here and join the others."

Back in the village, Psycheliana and Miracle told Papa Smurf what had happened and how they had rescued Empath from Beguiler. Smurfette was present when the three had returned safely home.
"Oh, Empath, I'm so glad you smurfed home safely again," Smurfette said, throwing her arms around him in gratitude.
"We have raised two very brave Smurfs who came to my rescue, Smurfette," Empath said, appreciating the gesture.
"But what are we going to do about Trenchcoat, since he was the one who smurfed those poison berries to the village?" Psycheliana asked.
"This smurf will choose a suitable and fair punishment for him, but this smurf has sensed that his intentions weren't to harm his fellow Smurfs in any way," Empath said.
"We'll deal with him accordingly, my little grandsmurfs," Papa Smurf said. "For now we must decide what we're going to smurf with the Wake N Bake Shop."
"You're not going to keep it closed just because of that incident with the moonberries now, are you, Grandpa?" Miracle asked.
"We'll see what happens, trust me," Papa Smurf said before he walked away.
Smurfette sighed. "I just hope we don't smurf anymore incidents like we have with those moonberries, where we almost lost a good deal of our little Smurfs," she said.
"We shouldn't have to, if Chatty and Nosey would agree to just stick with serving acorn brew and smurfnip, Smurfette," Empath said.
"I guess I'm never going to get used to a village where smurfing smurfnip is going to be an everyday thing with the Smurfs," Smurfette said.
"It could be worse, Smurfette," Empath said. "Right now, let's just smurf things one day at a time and not get worried about what tomorrow may smurf."
"But you've already smurfed what tomorrow may bring, haven't you?" Smurfette said. "You know how many days each of us have yet to smurf in this life."
"That's why we must take every day as it comes, for we will never have those days ever again in our lives," Empath said.
Psycheliana and Miracle watched as Empath and Smurfette walked away with each other. "Well, there smurfs our parents, loving each other like they don't smurf a care in the world," Miracle said.
"We still have each other, and whatever the future might smurf for the both of us," Psycheliana said.
"You mean that we two might become lovers and get married?" Miracle asked.
"Well, we smurf pretty well together, don't you think?" Psycheliana said.
"That doesn't mean that we're going to become lovers and get married, Liana," Miracle said. "Who knows who might smurf between us from this point on?"
"Why, is there any Smurf among our generation that you find yourself attracted to, Miracle?" Psycheliana asked.
"Uh, not yet, but then I'm still a young Smurf," Miracle answered. "Besides, what about you? Is there a male Smurf in the village you got the smurfs for?"
"Me?" Psycheliana said. "I don't seem to have that kind of interest right now."
"Yeah, right," Miracle said, voicing disbelief. "Well, if you do find your Mr. Right sometime in the future, let me know. I'd sure like to meet him."
"As soon as you find your Mrs. Perfect, I'll be right there to see her," Psycheliana said.
"Deal!" Miracle said.

Sometime later, all the Smurfs gathered around outside the Wake N Bake Brew Shop while Chatty and Nosey made an announcement.
"There's some good news to share to you customers," Chatty said. "The Wake N Bake Shop will continue to remain open for you to enjoy your smurfnip with your morning brew and your evening brew."
"HURRAY!!!" most of the young Smurfs cheered.
"However, Empath and Papa Smurf have warned us that the only thing we can serve you in our shop is acorn brew and smurfnip-based products, so we will not be smurfing any other kinds of addictive substances, in case you are wondering," Nosey said.
Some of the young Smurfs grumbled when they heard this.
"I know, it will upset some of the Smurfs who are smurfing for the harder stuff, but we just want to keep our place a safe place for those who love smurfnip so much and don't want to go beyond that," Chatty said.
"We promise that you'll always have a place for yourselves to enjoy smurfnip and to amuse yourselves with other harmless activities," Nosey said.
"So tonight our shop will be open for business," Chatty said.
"HURRAY!!!" most of the young Smurfs cheered.
"I hate being without smurfnip," Grouchy said.
Lazy yawned. "You said it, Grouchy."
Empath, Smurfette, Papa Smurf, Tapper, and Duncan watched the whole announcement from a distance. "Well, things will be much safer now that we have put that restriction in place, for the time being," Empath said.
"I don't agree with having smurfnip being smoked anywhere in the village, but at least you smurfed the right thing, Empath," Smurfette said.
"That won't stop my praying for all my fellow Smurfs and all of the generations that will follow them, my friends," Tapper said.
"Aye, and neither will it stop my helping any Smurf that wants to break the habit altogether," Duncan said.
"Each generation must decide for themselves which path that they want to take, my little Smurfs," Papa Smurf said. "Our goal is to make sure they smurf the right path."
"This smurf knows that, Papa Smurf," Empath said. "It's just hard to see the following generation smurf the path that we don't want them to take."
"But we will watch out for them as long as we're alive, won't we?" Smurfette said.
"Well, if they're going to enjoy a harmless night of smoking smurfnip, we should enjoy a harmless night of drinking sarsaparilla ale," Tapper said.
"Uh, laddie, there's just one problem...you're not the bartender of your own tavern anymore," Duncan said.
"That's not a problem, my fellow Duncan, because I still have some vintage stock smurfed away in my cellar somewhere," Tapper said.
"You, smurfing away vintage ale in your cellar?" Smurfette said.
"This smurf wouldn't expect you to be saving some ale for a future date, Tapper," Empath said.
"It was just in case we ever had a short supply of sarsaparilla to make the ale, Empath," Tapper said. "I'll smurf some over as soon as I can."
Papa Smurf chuckled. "You Smurfs go on and enjoy yourselves. I'll be relaxing in my house with a good book to read tonight."
"Well, lead the way, laddie...we'll follow you," Duncan said, sounding eager.