Empath and Polaris found themselves standing face-to-face with a version of Smurfette that seemed like she came from a Smurf's most perverse Imaginarium fantasy setting, only somewhat tamer. It was rather offputting to Empath that he would find himself even attracted to her either because of that or in spite of that.
"This smurf appreciates your concern for this smurf's well-being, Smurfette," Empath said as the group of Smurfs began to disperse to do their own things. "Is that unusual for you to behave that way because you're originally not like how the other Smurfs are in this village?"
"I was originally designed to be good when Gargamel created me, Empath," Smurfette said. "But Papa Smurf decided that I would be better off being evil, so he recreated me into the image of my fellow Smurfs, and I became his wife."
"His wife?!?" Empath exclaimed, sounding repulsed at the idea.
"Surely this Papa Smurf must have mentally and emotionally manipulated you into being attracted to him for his own evil purposes, Smurfette," Polaris said.
"It was nothing like that," Smurfette said. "I just find him very attractive, though personally I think this whole marriage idea is just a leash that he smurfs me on so that the other Smurfs can't have me. That doesn't mean that my heart is entirely smurfed to him alone, but the one Smurf that I can't stand to smurf around is that Empath Smurf...no offense, Empath."
"No offense taken, Smurfette, but this smurf is curious about the kind of life he was living in this village," Empath said.
"He was already here before I smurfed into the village, Empath," Smurfette said. "And from what I know, he was raised up along his fellow Smurfs and may have caused his fellow Smurfs' parents to die so that he and Papa Smurf could smurf complete control over the village. He even killed his own Mama Smurf, if that's anything worth mentioning."
Empath cringed at the thought. "Uh, that sounds really terrible."
"But how did your Smurfs and Gargamel ever encounter each other?" Polaris asked.
"Papa Smurf says that Nabby and Brainy were out in the forest when Nabby was smurfiously injured and Brainy abandoned him to smurf his own skin," Smurfette explained. "Gargamel found him and nursed him back to health, but Papa Smurf and the other Smurfs invaded Gargamel's castle and rescued Nabby, and as a smurfing present changed one of Gargamel's formulas so that it smurfed him down to Smurf size."
"That sounds similar to the story of how the Smurfs from our world have first encountered its Gargamel, Smurfette," Polaris observed.
"Not that this smurf doesn't want to find out any more information about this world, but for the time being, is it possible for us to be served a meal here, since this smurf and Polaris haven't eaten for a while?" Empath asked.
"Of course, Empath," Smurfette said. "We may be evil, but we still treat Smurfs as if they are part of our family. Smurf with me."
As Smurfette led them toward what was probably Greedy's kitchen in this village, Polaris and Empath spoke to each other through telepathy. Empath, do you think it is wise for us to even accept any sort of hospitality that these Smurfs might give us as being their prisoners? Polaris asked.
We can't do anything about our situation for the time being, Polaris, Empath responded. We might as well see how fairly they will treat us as prisoners before we do anything that would benefit our escape.
This one still recommends vigilance until that opportunity arises, Empath, Polaris warned.
They entered into the dining hall, where they saw Greedy eating a giant chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and smurfberries, enjoying every bite. "Mmmmm, now this is certainly better than sex...not that sex is anything bad, even the sex that smurfs on around here," Greedy said with his mouth full.
"Oh, Greedy," Smurfette cooed with a sweet alluring voice to get his attention.
Greedy put down his spoon to see who was there. "Oh, Smurfette, how I long to be alone with you to enjoy my private pleasures with you," Greedy said, his tongue hanging out and his eyes bulging at the sight of her.
"Doesn't every Smurf around here want me?" Smurfette said, as if that was nothing new. "I was wondering if you would smurf some food for these poor Smurfs who are our prisoners here in this village."
"Food for prisoners?" Greedy said, sounding repulsed. "The other Smurfs don't deserve my good cooking every day. What makes you think that these Smurfs deserve any better from me?"
"I promise that you can have me for a night of pleasure if you will smurf that for little old me, Greedy," Smurfette said persuasively.
Greedy sighed, feeling that a night with Smurfette was more desirable than not having her at all. "Just for you, Smurfette, I will smurf these two what they need, the basic stuff, but that's all they're going to smurf."
"That's all that I will ask of you, Greedy, I promise," Smurfette said.
"Okay, you two, smurf yourself a place at the tables, and I will smurf you some of my homemade porridge," Greedy said, sounding like serving anybody that wasn't Smurfette was the last thing he wanted to do.
Empath and Polaris sat down at the tables. "This smurf can't image Greedy being this...well, greedy in this universe, Polaris," Empath said. "If this world is supposed to be running in a reverse polarity that affects their morality, this smurf would expect Greedy to be completely generous."
"This one is at a loss for an adequate explanation, Empath," Polaris said. "It seems that the overall morality of the Smurfs as a race in this universe is inclined towards evil and pleasing one's perverse carnal desires."
"Well, if you wanted to see how bad Smurfs could become, this is certainly an experience neither one of us will forget, Polaris," Empath said.
Then Greedy came by with a tray and two bowls of hot steaming porridge with spoons on the tray, along with two glasses of water. "Here you go," Greedy said unceremoniously as he served Empath and Polaris their meals.
Empath and Polaris looked at their meal and the utensils they were given for the meal. It looked as if concern for health was the least important thing that was on Greedy's mind or that of his kitchen staff.
"Let's see if we can't purify what we're eating so that nothing can harm us," Empath suggested. Both Empath and Polaris touched their bowls and spoons and focused their mental abilities to join with each other, causing their birth marks to glow until they also caused their bowls and spoons to glow as well, although it lasted only for several seconds.
"Apparently our minds-eye powers are not as effective as they are in our own universe, Empath," Polaris said as he and Empath felt their powers weakening.
Empath sighed. "Then we have no choice but to enjoy our meals here however they wish fit to present them." He picked up his spoon and scooped up a bit of porridge to put into his mouth. Empath gagged when he tasted the porridge. "Ewwww, this is worse than the nutrient paste that we eat in Psychelia, Polaris."
Polaris made a similar face of disgust when he had eaten his spoonful of the porridge. "It makes this one wonder how the Smurfs of this universe even tolerate the kind of food preparation they are subjected to every day, Empath," Polaris said.
"Unfortunately, as Papa Smurf has always said, beggars can't be choosers, and we're the beggars who are depending on the mercy of Smurfs who are the exact opposite of us," Empath said.
"To add to that bit of wisdom, Grandpa Smurf has said that when you're really hungry, even the most bitter thing will taste sweet," Polaris said.
"Hopefully the Ancestors of this world will also protect us and guide us on the path where we need to go, Polaris," Empath said as he scooped up another spoonful.
Smurfette stood outside the dining hall, allowing Empath and Polaris to have enough privacy to enjoy their meals, though making sure that neither of them would try to leave and do anything to escape. Her thoughts were toward the Empath of this other world that she was not familiar with, finding him so amazingly attractive just because she had a feeling that his heart was good. He was certainly different from the Empath she knew of in her own world, who made her feel rather uncomfortable just by his presence alone. She only wished that she could be in that other world with that other Empath so that she could escape the kind of life she was used to as a Smurf.
"So you're thinking about that other Empath, that phony from another universe who doesn't even deserve to smurf my name," the Empath from her own world said as he approached her.
"So what if I am, Empath?" Smurfette said defensively.
"I know that you find me more desirable than he is, Smurfette," the other Empath said rather persuasively. "There's no other Smurf in the world that you would truly want more than me."
"You're the last Smurf that I would ever really want!" Smurfette retorted.
"Remember that I can smurf into your head anytime I want, and there's nothing you can do to stop me, Smurfette," the other Empath said. Then suddenly Smurfette convulsed as she felt the other Empath's telepathic abilities invading her mind, giving her terrible sensations that sounded to this version of Empath like she was getting pleasure from his mental sadism. Then suddenly the pain stopped, and Empath relaxed, seeing how Smurfette reacted to his invasion. "Was that good for you, Smurfette? It certainly was for me."
Smurfette looked at the other Empath like she wanted to kill him. "You can smurf all sorts of weird smurf to my mind, Empath, but you will never smurf my spirit. I will never be yours, not even if you're the last Smurf in this world."
"You will be mine, whether you want to be or not, Smurfette," the other Empath said. He laughed wickedly as he passed by Smurfette, leaving her picking herself up from the ground with some difficulty.
Empath and Polaris were busy eating their meal when Empath suddenly stopped eating, sensing something painful in his mind. "Empath, what are you experiencing?" Polaris asked, sounding concerned.
"It's Smurfette...the Smurfette from this world," Empath said. "That other Empath was mentally abusing her. It's as if he had just raped her in public."
"That is a terrible thing to happen, even if she is just as evil as her fellow Smurfs in this universe, Empath," Polaris said.
"If only we can take her back to our own universe, she would forever be free of that Smurf's mental manipulations that she has been subjected to," Empath said.
"We don't know if that's even possible, Empath, or if she would be willing to leave her fellow Smurfs behind in this world to live in ours," Polaris said. "It is also very possible that her morality cannot be changed even with any sort of magic spell that our Papa Smurf can cast upon her."
Empath sighed. "Perhaps you're right, Polaris. This smurf just don't like sensing any Smurf being mentally manipulated by anyone for whatever purpose they intend to do that for."
After finishing their meal together, Empath and Polaris headed outside to see Smurfette standing by the door, looking as if she was crying. "Smurfette, are you all right?" Empath asked, sounding concerned.
Smurfette looked at Empath with an angry look at first, only to relax when she realized it wasn't the Empath from her own world. "I'll be fine, Empath. It's just something that I normally smurf through when I'm among my fellow Smurfs."
"This smurf knows that this Empath of your world is an abuser, and that you don't like what he does to you," Empath said. "You don't have to stay here with him or with any of your fellow Smurfs if you don't feel comfortable here."
"I can't leave here ever, Empath," Smurfette said. "I'm still Papa Smurf's wife, and I would be smurfed to a lifeless lump of clay if I should ever leave this village or Papa Smurf. Papa Smurf made sure of that when he smurfed me into a real Smurf."
"That is very unfortunate that you must suffer that fate, Smurfette," Polaris said.
Empath sighed. "This smurf can only feel sympathy for you, Smurfette. But this smurf promises that this smurf will not act anything like the Empath you know."
"Smurfing from you, I will accept that, Empath," Smurfette said, smiling as she took a deep breath to calm herself down. "I need to cheer myself up so that I don't have to think of what my life is smurfed to be. Would you two like to smurf with me to Tapper's Tavern?"
"Tapper's Tavern? You have a Tapper Smurf in your village, Smurfette?" Empath asked, sounding surprised.
"Of course we do, Empath," Smurfette said. "His place is always open for business, and he's always good for sarsaparilla ale when you're feeling down. Would you like to come with me?"
"This one will accompany Empath, but this one does not ingest any fermented beverages, Smurfette," Polaris stated.
"Ah, what a shame," Smurfette said, sounding a bit disappointed. "At least I know Empath will accompany me, if that's what he desires."
"This smurf will be honored to accompany you, Smurfette," Empath said. He and Smurfette took each other, arm in arm, and headed for the tavern with Polaris following close behind.
Along the way, Empath and Polaris watched as what appeared to be that universe's Jokey was approaching another Smurf. "Here, I smurfed you a present today," Jokey said, sounding completely innocent.
"This is not going to explode on me today like it usually smurfs, will it, Jokey?" the other Smurf asked.
"Smurf's honor, but I promise that it will surprise you," Jokey answered.
The other Smurf opened the present, but instead of exploding, a foul cloud came from within the gift box, spraying into that Smurf's face and causing such pain that that Smurf screamed in horror. "Medic! Doctor! Help me!" he yelled as he ran off in another direction while Jokey laughed.
Empath winced at the sight of that Smurf falling victim to that particular prank. "As bad as Jokey's pranks are, they seem to pale in comparison to this Jokey's level of mischief," Empath said.
Polaris sighed. "This one doesn't know if this one should feel any level of sympathy toward these Smurfs who are subjected to their own evil tendencies on a daily basis, Empath."
Tapper's Tavern in this other world was something very different than what Empath and Polaris have experienced in theirs. "Here we are, Smurfs," Smurfette said as she, Empath, and Polaris have entered their doors. "The only place that we call paradise around here."
Empath and Polaris just stood and looked around at what was inside the tavern. "Great Ancestors!" they both exclaimed. The first thing they noticed was that the tavern itself looked run-down, with lots of broken furniture, filthy windows, and walls stained with blood and sarsaparilla ale. The second thing they noticed was the activity going on in the tavern. Besides drinking, there was gambling, smoking, fighting, lots of obscene language, and immoral affections of a kind that even somebody who wasn't as religious as Tapper would balk at being subjected to. The air was full of the smoke of smurfnip, and the music was loud and blatantly praising the joys of such immoral behavior.
As they passed by the tables, Empath and Polaris saw a Smurf with a handful of glowing dust holding it up to his face and taking a whiff of the dust with his nose until the pile was all gone. He moaned in ecstasy at the sensation he was feeling from whatever it was he inhaled. "Oh, that batch of pixie dust sure smurfs good," he said with a big smile on his face.
"Apparently these Smurfs in this world are addicted to more than just sarsaparilla ale and smurfnip, Empath," Polaris commented.
"And they don't seem to care how dangerous any of that stuff really is," Empath added, feeling repulsed by the sight.
This universe's Tapper, who was standing behind the bar counter with another Smurf who resembled Duncan McSmurf, engaging in a very long kiss, pulled himself away to see who just walked into his tavern. "Smurf o' the morning to you, my dear Smurfette," he greeted in a rough-sounding Irish voice. "What smurfs you here into my smurf of the village this time of day?"
"I just want to show our two prisoners from another world how we as Smurfs live our lives here," Smurfette answered.
"Ah, I see that the lassie has smurfed some interesting company in here," Duncan said as he looked at the two who accompanied Smurfette. "You two boys are smurf enough to drink sarsaparilla ale like a true Smurfsman?"
"This one respectfully will not drink fermented beverages, Duncan," Polaris said as he and Empath came closer to the bar counter.
"This smurf would be interested to find out what it is that you Smurfs call sarsaparilla ale around here," Empath said.
"Aye, now there is a brave lad," Duncan said, grinning. "I'm beginning to like him already, much more than his pale friend."
"Well, smurf yourself a seat and I will smurf you a glass," Tapper invited. "I can't promise you a clean glass, but what does it matter as long as it smurfs somewhere in your belly?"
Empath and Polaris both sat down near the counter, watching while Tapper filled a single glass with brown frothy ale that looked like it had impurities in it. Empath couldn't help but notice that Tapper had a black book on his counter with red trim and a red pentagram embossed on its cover. He was beginning to think that this version of Tapper was also religious, but wasn't sure he wanted to ask what his faith was in.
"Well, for better or smurf, here you go," Tapper said as he put the glass full of sarsaparilla ale before Empath on the counter.
Empath picked up the glass and took a sip from it, only to find himself making a face afterward. "Ewwwww, this sarsaparilla ale is so bitter, Tapper," Empath said.
"Hey, I don't smurf sarsaparilla ale for its taste," Tapper said, sounding a bit offended. "I only smurf it so that my customers can smurf drunk and feel good about being Smurfs. You got a problem with that?"
"Uh, no, Tapper," Empath said. "You're the village bartender, you make the drinks however you want to if it pleases how you run things in your tavern." He then bravely took as many sips as he could so he could finish the drink without risking making any other offenses toward Tapper.
"Would it be proper for this one to ask if you are to serve anything other than sarsaparilla ale to this one?" Polaris asked.
"What do I smurf like here, pale face?" Tapper snarled. "Is this a soda shop for Smurflings here? You can go smurf elsewhere if you don't like what I'm smurfing!"
Polaris sighed. "This one apologizes for upsetting you, Tapper."
"This smurf is curious about the holy book that you have beside you, Tapper," Empath said, trying to remain civil. "Is that what you would call being a Christian in this world?"
"I don't know what the smurf 'being a Christian' even means," Tapper said. "All I know is that the Almighty is in charge of my life, and He wants to save everybody from smurfing good in this world so that we can enjoy smurfing the blessings of smurfing with Him forever in heaven."
"Would you mind if this smurf has a look inside your book to see what it even teaches about your religion?" Empath asked.
"You're free to smurf it anytime you like, as long as it doesn't leave my tavern," Tapper said, handing Empath the book in question.
Empath opened the book and saw that it had similar headings like the books in the Holy Bible that he read in Empath's own universe. However, as he read through the book, he noticed that its teachings were the opposite of what the Almighty from his own universe had put in the Holy Bible:
"If someone smites you on the cheek, smite them back sevenfold."
"It is more blessed to receive than to give."
"The love of money is the root of all godliness."
"Let he who is with sin be the first to cast a stone."
"What you don't want to be done unto you, do unto others first."
"Marriage is only a leash for those who are jealous to keep their husband or wife to themselves. More blessed it is to be able to share yourself with others freely."
"Blessed are the men who lie with men, and the women who lie with women, for they shall have their place in the Kingdom."
Empath closed the book, feeling like he was being subjected to a warped version of Christianity that the Tapper he knew of would be outrightly offended with. "This smurf doesn't know what to say about this Almighty that you believe in, Tapper," Empath said, handing the book back to him.
"Whether you become a believer or not doesn't matter to me," Tapper said. "If you decide to smurf your life in the hands of the Almighty's Son, that's smurfy with me. If you decide to reject Him, that's your choice, but you're going to have to answer to Him for your life in this world in the end."
"Ah, who needs his Almighty anyway, laddies?" Duncan said. "We've got Mother Nature, who lets us smurf whatever it is we want to, and smurf whoever it is we want to, no matter what gender or age or even race they happen to be. All that matters in this life is our pleasure, and if somebody gets hurt, then that's their unsmurfy luck in this world. They most likely deserved it anyway."
"That old flirt, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations," Tapper said. "Every Smurf's got a shrine of her in their own houses. I like to smurf with mine every now and then, even though I'm still exclusively the Almighty's."
"We're still going to be smurfed together as lifemates, he and I," Duncan said. "We're going to smurf together in heaven, and there's nothing on earth that's going to separate us from each other."
After Tapper turned away from Empath and Polaris to continue doting his affections on Duncan, Empath and Polaris discussed privately among themselves. "If this smurf doesn't see anything unsmurfy going on in this village ever again, it would be too soon, Polaris," Empath said.
"We just have to look for that opportunity to arise for our escape, Empath," Polaris said. "Once we leave, we will need to contact both Gargamel and the Psyches and see if they will help us."
"The Psyches?" Empath said, sounding surprised. "Do you think they would even help us if they exist in this world?"
"That's a chance we must be willing to take if we're going to return to the world that we came from," Polaris said.