It was late at night. Traveler had to make himself invisible so as to not draw any attention to himself while he was still in this universe's Smurf Village. He could see that there were Smurfs patrolling the village throughout the night, armed with spears while carrying lanterns. He carefully looked around the village to see where Empath and Polaris were held captive so he could break them out and they could get help together.
He soon found a solitary Smurf house that had its windows barred and its door locked and chained so that nobody but the guards could enter or exit. Right now Traveler could see them drag Empath into this house, seemingly weakened from whatever it was he was subjected to. "Have a pleasant rest, you Smurf," one of the guards sneered as they dumped Empath inside. "We'll be smurfing you in the morning when Papa Smurf decides what to smurf with you two."
Polaris was in a meditative state when he heard Empath being dropped inside on the floor of their confined house. After the door was shut and locked again, Polaris opened his eyes and saw Empath turning on the floor, weakened from such incredible pain that Polaris had sensed. "Empath, are you all right?" he asked quietly as he got up and went over to where Empath was lying to help him sit up.
Empath groaned as he tried to sit up. "This smurf is still functional, Polaris, but just barely. That was an agonizing session of torture that this smurf had went through with this universe's version of Empath. It felt like being in Psychelia all over again, having to endure the Psyche Master's mental probes."
"Thank the Ancestors for the blessing that you're still with us, Empath," Polaris said. "This one has to admit, though, that this one is at a loss for how we would be able to escape this imprisonment."
"This isn't exactly how this smurf would want to leave the world of the living, Polaris," Empath said. "But this smurf would gladly sacrifice my life if it would keep our Smurfs, especially Smurfette, safe from these Smurfs."
"That would not stop these Smurfs from trying to find a way to use the Janus Mirror to cross from this world into ours, Empath," Polaris said. "If we could find a way to close the portal between the worlds, even if it means we are stuck in this world for all time, we would have a better means to protect our fellow Smurfs."
"But we still would have to find a way to escape if we're going to get any answers from anyone who would help us here, Polaris," Empath said.
"There is a way out of here, but you must follow me," another voice spoke.
Empath and Polaris turned to see who was in the house with them. They saw what appeared to be a Smurf from that universe, but something about him was different that they could sense. "Traveler?" Empath asked.
"Shhhh, not so loud," Traveler said, putting his finger to his lips to motion a silence. "Smurf my hand, and this one will lead you out of this place."
"This one is curious to find out how you ended up here," Polaris said.
"There is no time to explain," Traveler said, sounding urgent. "Quickly!"
Empath and Polaris realized that they had to trust what Traveler was doing. They both took a hold of each other, with Empath grabbing Traveler's hand and Polaris grabbing Empath's. Suddenly they could feel their own molecules vibrating as they were now in an intangible state, passing through solid matter as if it were air.
They suddenly found themselves walking straight toward a guard. "Traveler, watch out!" Empath called out.
"There is no need for alarm, Empath," Traveler said. "As long as we're smurfing each other's hands, we are invisible, and no one will be able to touch us."
"Are we existing outside of time here?" Polaris asked.
"No, but here we can smurf in this form for a short while, just long enough for us to escape into the forest," Traveler said.
Empath sighed. "You're our rescuer, Traveler. We'll follow wherever you go."
The three of them quietly walked through the village in a state where nobody could see or even touch them. They reached the outskirts of the village where a high wall was surrounding the perimeter. "Here we go, the final barrier we must smurf through," Traveler said.
The three of them passed through it without difficulty. But as soon as they have gone several paces away from the fence toward the forest, they heard, "Alert! Alert! The prisoners have escaped! They're smurfing into the forest!"
"Great Ancestors," Traveler exclaimed. "It seems that this one's temperokinetic abilities are beginning to fade."
"Which means that they can now see us," Polaris said, understanding what Traveler had said.
"Run as fast as you can!" Empath cried out.
The three of them ran as fast as they could into the forest to escape the Smurfs that were now waking up and heading into the forest to find and recapture the escaped prisoners. They soon found a hole in the ground that they dived into and hid deep within, watching and using their telepathy to sense how close the Smurfs were and whether they would be able to find them.
Empath, Polaris, and Traveler held their breath for as long as they could, waiting and watching in suspense as the Smurfs above ground wandered through the forest and shined their lights around to see if they could find a trace of the fugitives. It was a long intense wait that made the three of them wonder if they would ever keep the freedom they have now gained.
"If the three of us smurf together, they would most likely capture us, and our escape would be all for smurf," Traveler said.
"Then we should split up," Empath suggested. "This smurf will go to Gargamel's house and see if he would be able to help us. Traveler, Polaris, you two should head for wherever the Psyches may be living in this world, if there is even a place called Psychelia here."
"May the Ancestors guide and protect us as we go on our separate ways, Empath," Polaris said.
"And may fortune favor the foolish," Empath said, nodding with acceptance.
Papa Smurf was in his house, going through the belongings of both Empath and Polaris from their world and examining them to see what purpose they would serve, when he came across a medallion with a crystal inside it. He recognized the crystal as an Imaginarium crystal, something he only heard about that could create magical holograms. He wondered if such a thing even existed in this particular crystal, so he said, "HoloSmurf, appear before me."
A physical form resembling Papa Smurf, but with blue skin and a red suit, appeared before Papa Smurf. "Wait a minute, you're not Papa Smurf...at least the Papa Smurf that I know of," the hologram Papa Smurf said.
"You know the Papa Smurf of your world, HoloSmurf?" Papa Smurf asked.
"Of course I do," the HoloSmurf said proudly. "I happen to be carrying 552 years of everything he knows. You can say that I'm a smurfing breathing ensmurflopedia of Papa Smurf...except for the breathing part, that is."
"Then what do you know about the Janus Mirror?" Papa Smurf asked.
"You mean the Mirror of Janus," the HoloSmurf said. "Well, according to his books, the Mirror is a legendary gateway between our world and what is known as the Mirror Universe, which I suppose I am in at this point."
"Mirror Universe," Papa Smurf repeated to himself, as if that was a new term he never heard of before. "Then you should know how it is that one can smurf between this world and yours, and the other way around?"
"From what was recorded, the two mirrors must be smurfed in the same location in both universes so that the portal is active and open in both locations, or else the journey would be a one-way trip for whoever uses one of the mirrors," the HoloSmurf said.
"Then do you know where the other mirror is located in your world?" Papa Smurf asked.
"Unfortunately, I do not know where it is located," the HoloSmurf said. "It has left the Smurf Forest years ago and has not been smurfed ever since."
"Your friends have found it, HoloSmurf, and we need to know if they have smurfed you where that other mirror is in your world," Papa Smurf said.
"Well, good luck trying to smurf that," the HoloSmurf said. "Empath and Polaris only smurf me active whenever they need my advice on something, which happens to be not often on the journey we are smurfing through."
"Papa Smurf! Papa Smurf!" he heard voices calling from outside his house.
Papa Smurf hated to be interrupted in his interrogation. "HoloSmurf, disappear," he said hastily, causing the HoloSmurf to vanish from sight. He then went to the door and saw a group of Smurfs armed with spears and carrying lanterns. "Yes, what is it?" he snapped angrily.
"The prisoners have escaped, Papa Smurf," Hefty said. "We are smurfing the forest for them right now, but so far we have smurfed no sign of them. There may be a third Smurf among them who has somehow helped them escape."
"Don't rest until you smurf the entire forest!" Papa Smurf commanded. "I don't care if it smurfs all night, I want those Smurfs found and smurfed before me immediately. Do you understand?"
"Aye, Papa Smurf, you can count on us," Duncan McSmurf said.
"I do be needing to smurf up in the morning to smurf care of my crops, but I be willing to smurf up all night if I have to," a Smurf resembling Farmer said.
"Let's just get smurfing before Papa Smurf gets mad at us," a Smurf resembling Tuffy said.
After the Smurfs left, Smurfette had entered the room, looking like she has awakened from her sleep. "What has happened, Papa Smurf?" she asked.
"It's nothing you need to be worried about, my dear," Papa Smurf said. "It's just our prisoners trying to escape and smurf help, as if they would ever smurf help from anyone outside this forest."
"Oh dear," Smurfette moaned. "I hope that our little Smurfs will be all right."
"They'll be fine, unless they fail us," Papa Smurf said. "If smurf comes to smurf, we'll have Empath and Wild smurf through the entire forest to smurf for any trace of those fugitives so that we could smurf them home and deliver judgment upon them."
"Please be gentle with them, Papa Smurf," Smurfette said. "If they die a really painful death, I would never forgive myself."
"Just go to bed and I will be there beside you when I'm ready," Papa Smurf said, gently touching Smurfette's face.
"Yes, Papa Smurf, I will be there for you," Smurfette said, smiling before she left the room.
After Smurfette left, Papa Smurf heard a knock on his door. He opened and saw that it was his universe's Empath standing outside, which he allowed to enter so they could talk in private.
"That Smurfette still has a bit of Gargamel inside her, Papa Smurf," the other Empath said. "One day, she's going to betray us, and we're going to regret ever smurfing that little tramp become one of us inside our village."
"Smurfette is my concern, not yours, Empath!" Papa Smurf snapped. "I will decide what to smurf with her in the smurfumstance that she does betray us. Have you sensed where the fugitives have escaped to?"
"I honestly have no idea, Papa Smurf," the other Empath answered. "The forest is very big, and my abilities can only smurf so far through its entire area."
"Try to smurf out as far as you can, Empath," Papa Smurf said. "If there's a chance that they can smurf out to somebody for help, we want to be able to stop it before they try to attack us."
"Yes, Papa Smurf, I understand completely," the other Empath said. "Just don't smurf your back on your beloved bride, if you know what's smurf for you."
The other Empath walked out of Papa Smurf's house and slammed the door to emphasize his point.
Polaris and Traveler were heading in the direction of where they believe Psychelia could be in the Mirror Universe. Neither of them had any idea what to expect when they were to reach that place, but could only hope that the Psyches would be able to help them, if possible.
After a while of traveling through the mountains, both Polaris and Traveler decided they needed to rest. They both stopped and sat down on a ledge to catch their breath. "Great Ancestors, this one never thought that physical travel like this would be so tiring," Traveler said.
"How is it that you have ended up in this universe, Traveler?" Polaris asked.
"This one was traveling through the timestream, just smurfing my own business, when this one sensed that something else was in the timestream with this one," Traveler explained. "Then this one noticed that the timestream itself had somehow changed, that it was no longer the timestream that this one knew. Then someone who somehow resembled this one appeared before me. He called himself the Traveler and started to attack this one with energy beams."
"And apparently you were overcome by these energy beams that this other time traveler was projecting towards you," Polaris said.
"That time traveler says that this one was invading his timestream, as if the timestream belonged exclusively to him, Polaris," Traveler said. "The energy beams were too much for this one to handle, and so he had knocked this one out of the timestream and into this place, which this one believes belongs to that other timestream."
"So you somehow crossed between timestreams and ended up in that of the other Traveler Smurf," Polaris reasoned. "But why is it that you can't return to the timestream now?"
"This one is wondering the same thing ever since this one smurfed here," Traveler said, sounding very unsure. "But the longer this one remains outside of my own timestream, the more this one's abilities will fade until..."
"Until what?" Polaris asked when he noticed that Traveler was starting to fade out of consciousness. "TRAVELER!" he called out as he went over to where his companion had fallen. He touched Traveler's body and felt as if he was slowly starting to discorporate.
"We will get help for you, Traveler, this one promises," Polaris said as he picked up Traveler's body and carried it over his shoulder, proceeding onward through the mountains in the hope of finding the Psyches.
Empath felt like he was traveling through tunnels forever. He didn't like having to travel through gopher holes, but he couldn't risk being seen out in public for fear that somebody like Wild would spot him and immediately alert the Mirror Universe Smurfs to his location.
He climbed up the inside of a tree and found himself looking through a hole at what appeared to be Gargamel's castle in this universe. Though he couldn't see much in the dim light, Empath could see that the castle looked much nicer and well-kept than the one his own fellow Smurfs were used to seeing.
Empath realized that if Gargamel was there in his castle, he would be busy sleeping at this time, and it would not be wise to wake up him lest he would bring unwanted attention to himself. Yet Empath could sense that he could trust this version of Gargamel with whatever it is he was seeking him for. All he could do now was hope for the best.
Anyway, Empath felt himself getting tired and worn-out from having to run all through the night. He decided to sleep inside the hole in the tree and wait until morning so that he could get in touch with Gargamel and see what he will do.