Part 7

Back in the Smurf Village, Papa Smurf was continuing to go through the belongings of his prisoners when he saw a whistle in Empath's pack. "What the smurf does this thing do?" he wondered aloud. He blew into it once, then twice, and then a third time, but surprisingly nothing happened. "Huh...just some useless keepsmurf that they have for themselves," he said to himself as he placed it back into the pack.
"Hey, Papa Smurf, you happen to have something that belongs to this smurf and my friend Polaris," a voice called out high and loud.
Papa Smurf was beginning to wonder who it was that was calling out to him when he heard frantic knocking on his door. He opened and saw his little Smurfs all gathering around him.
"Papa Smurf! Papa Smurf!" they cried out. "Gargamel has just reached our village and he's smurfed some kind of armor on himself."
"Some kind of armor?" Papa Smurf said. He decided to look for himself, and as he did, he indeed saw Gargamel wearing a kind of armor with a pair of gauntlets that are glowing with a magic power. And sitting on Gargamel's shoulder was Empath, the Empath from the other universe.
"So you have smurfed your true colors," Papa Smurf said. "I didn't think you would smurf all the way to bring our worst enemy straight to our village."
"You are the ones who are the enemy, Papa Smurf," Empath said. "We're just here to make sure you do not cause anymore trouble, either in this world or any other."
"We'll see about that," Papa Smurf said. He then called out to his little Smurfs. "Smurf the catapults...aim...and then fire!"
But before the Smurfs could reach the catapults, Gargamel aimed one of his gloved hands toward a catapult and fired a burst of magical energy. It struck the catapult and blasted it to smithereens.
"I...I...I...I did it!" Gargamel said, looking at his gloved hand, sounding excited. "Those Gauntlets of Gantharros actually work!"
"Gargamel, look out!" Empath called out. Suddenly he was bombared by a volley of small rocks as the Smurfs one by one fired the remaining catapults at him.
"I don't want to do this, but they leave me no choice," Gargamel said. He aimed his gloved hand toward another catapult and fired a burst of magical energy, also destroying it completely.
The other Empath came out when he saw his fellow Smurfs in a futile struggle against a strangely armored Gargamel. "So this Gargamel thinks he can overpower us with this armored suit?" he sneered. "I will smurf it apart like it's paper mache and smurf him until he's a bruised and bloody mess."
The other Empath used his telekinesis to launch himself straight toward Gargamel, only to find himself ricocheting off the armor with a metallic clang and falling to the ground. Coming to his senses, he saw the Empath from the other universe and decided to hurl himself straight toward him instead.
"YOU!" the other Empath shouted, knocking Empath off Gargamel's shoulder and felling him to the ground. "You bring our worst enemy to our village and let him destroy everything we have built! You are worse than a traitor to the Smurfs!"
Empath tried to fight defensively against the other Empath, but the other Empath was too fast and too strong. He felt like his own punches were not landing anywhere while the other Empath's punches were like jackhammers. He honestly didn't know how long he could hope to last against his other self.
"I think it is time to smurf out our mechanical army," Papa Smurf said, realizing that his little Smurfs were not much use against an armored Gargamel. "Handy Smurf, call out the Clockwork Smurfs!"
"Yes, Papa Smurf," Handy responded. He then pressed a button on a remote control he was carrying, and suddenly up from a hidden underground bunker, an army of Clockwork Smurfs, all dressed in black suits and resembling the latest model of Clockwork Smurf that Handy of Empath's own universe had built, emerged to the surface.
"WE ARE HERE TO OBEY YOUR ORDERS!!!" the Clockwork Smurf army announced.
"Clockworks, destroy Gargamel!" Handy shouted.
"YES, MASTER HANDY!!! WE SERVE TO OBEY!!!" the Clockwork Smurf army responded.
Gargamel saw that the Smurfs have now sent an army of robotic Clockwork Smurfs to defeat and destroy him. He tried blasting one of the robots with his gloved hands. The destroyed robot sparked for a few seconds, and then suddenly it reformed and divided itself into two more robots. He tried blasting another, but the destruction of that other robot also caused the same effect: it reformed and divided itself in two.
Gargamel began to realize that no matter how many robots he blasted, he could not stop their approach, but only made things worse as they continued to multiply and then climb upon him and swarm around him, slowly dismantling his armor in the process.
"Empath, help me!" Gargamel cried out in fear as he felt himself overwhelmed by the sheer number of robots that are taking apart his armored suit.
But unfortunately Empath was too busy with his own problem -- namely, trying to fight his other self and get him to stop pummeling him.
The other Empath laughed as he stood triumphant over his fallen adversary. "Soon we will conquer Gargamel, just as we have conquered you," he gloated. "And when we are done here, we will open the portal and conquer your world!"
Suddenly Empath felt power coursing through his body. He rose up and punched the other Empath square in the face, felling him. "OVER THIS SMURF'S DEAD BODY YOU WILL!!!" he roared.
The other Empath looked up, as did all the Smurfs, and saw an entire army of Psyches, being led by Polaris, flying toward them from out of the sky. They looked like they were ready for the day of battle.
"All right, you Smurfs, everyone fight to the death!" Duncan called out.
But as the Smurfs tried to fight the army of Psyches, they all began to fall one by one, knocked down by the bursts of telekinetic energy they were projecting.
The Clockwork Smurfs have finished stripping Gargamel of all his armor when they noticed that the Smurfs themselves were falling to the army of Psyches that have emerged. They dropped what they were doing and headed straight for the army to stop their advance.
The Psyches tried to blast the Clockwork Smurfs apart one by one, but just like Gargamel they found out for every one they destroyed, they ended up creating two more to take their place.
"It's no use!" one of the Psyches said. "These mechanical creatures just keep replicating themselves. We'll never stop them all."
"This one senses that there is a generator at work that is doing the replicating, my fellow Psyches," Polaris said. "Just keep them occupied while this one heads for the generator."
"This one will accompany you, Polaris," the other Polaris said.
"And this one will accompany you both to its location," Cassiopeia said.

While this battle was going on, the Mirror Universe Traveler was busy traveling through the timestream when he found himself being confronted by his other self who reemerged in the timestream. This made the Mirror Universe Traveler very upset. "You do not get it, do you?" he said. "This is my timestream, not yours. You are just a trespasser in my role as the guardian."
"You're the one who invaded this one's timestream first and smurfed me into yours," Traveler said. "You stay in your own history and this smurf will stay in mine."
The two Travelers began to chase each other through the timestream, trying to blast each other so that the opposer would leave the timestream. However, as Traveler found out, both of them were evenly matched. Neither of them could land a single hit on each other.

Empath and his other self continue to duke it out with each other, the both of them evenly matched as their fight raged throughout the entire village, knocking down houses and structures in the process. But Empath began to feel that his newfound strength was beginning to wane while his other self just kept fighting and fighting.
"You're nothing but a pale imitation of me!" the other Empath said as he overpowered his adversary. "You're not even fit to be called Empath! You'll never have the Smurfette of my world! You'll never even see the Smurfette of your world ever again!"
Then suddenly the other Empath began to feel such an intense pain in his head that he convulsed in great agony. "You will not hurt anyone ever again!" an ominous voice spoke inside his head. "All your minds-eye abilities will forever be gone!"
It lasted for several seconds, and then when the pain was gone, the other Empath felt as if every mind in the world had been shut off to him. He couldn't enter into anybody's mind to do anything. He couldn't even lift up a single object with his mind. It was just like what the voice had told him: all his telepathic and telekinetic abilities were now gone forever.
Empath slowly picked himself up as he saw that the other Empath had dropped to his knees, looking at his hands, tortured at the thought that he was now completely powerless. He just screamed as loud as he could into the sky, and then bowed his head in defeated shame.
There was an explosion underneath the village that just made the ground shake, and then instantly the Clockwork Smurf army just stopped dead, totally inoperative. The army of Psyches stopped fighting when they realized that the mechanical army stopped totally dead.

At the same moment, in the timestream, as Traveler and his Mirror Universe self were busy chasing each other in the timestream, the Mirror Universe version began to vanish until he was no more. It was at this point that the timestream itself changed back to its normal colors, and from this Traveler knew that he was back in his own timestream.

Gargamel was lying in a crumpled mess of what was left of his armor, surprised to still be alive, but now sad that he had to devastate the Smurfs in order to stop their reign of terror. He looked up from where he was lying and saw that most of the Smurfs were now lying on the ground, either unconscious or dead, he didn't know which, and a group of Psyches were in the village, looking at all the wreckage that was caused by the attack.
"Empath, did we win?" Gargamel asked.
"Yes, Gargamel, we won, thanks to the help of the Psyches," Empath replied.
Gargamel let out a sigh of relief. "Well, hurray for our side," he muttered before he collapsed again.
Polaris, joined by his other self and Cassiopeia, also came over, looking like they had barely escaped a fire, but are nonetheless still alive. "This one has never expected a battle like this to be so exhilarating," the other Polaris said. "This one feels like we should celebrate."
"You must be the Polaris Psyche from this universe," Empath said, seemingly pleased. "This smurf wasn't expecting that this smurf would get the help in this smurf even having the power to defeat this smurf's alternate self."
"Your friend told this one all about you, Empath," the other Polaris said. "The Psyche Master sensed that you were worthy to be given the assistance in your battle against these Smurfs."
"But are these Smurfs dead or...?" Empath asked.
"They're only rendered unconscious for now, Empath," the other Polaris said. "The Psyches don't believe in taking lives unless it's absolutely necessary. That's something we learn every day under the guidance of the Psyche Master."
"And what about Traveler?" Empath asked.
"Your other friend Traveler is alive and back in the timestream, as far as the Psyche Master can tell," the other Polaris said.
"For what it's worth, you and the Psyches should celebrate this victory," Empath said. "You're going to be talking about this for some time to come."
"We should return to Psychelia and allow them to deal with the Smurfs as they see fit," Cassiopeia suggested.
The other Polaris nodded in agreement. He turned and looked at his other universe self, then extended his hand toward him in a gesture of friendship. Polaris reached out his hand, and they both shook hands together.
"May the Ancestors guide and protect you as you and your friend continue your journey to bring your fellow Smurfs home, Polaris," the other Polaris said.
"And may the Ancestors bind you and Cassiopeia in unity with each other in the Rite of Bondship, Polaris," Polaris said in reciprocation.
The other Polaris smiled. "You should smile more often. There are worse things that can happen to you than losing your family."
Polaris nodded. "This one will take that bit of wisdom to heart, my friend."

Soon Gargamel had gathered all the Smurfs of his own universe and held them prisoner in his own castle, bound and helpless with no way to escape. Scruple and Azrael looked at all the Smurfs they captured, wondering what their master is going to do with all of them. Polaris simply stood there, silent and not saying anything, while Empath could feel his heart breaking because it meant that one of the Smurfs from this universe that he cared about was now going to be judged and dealt with.
"Empath, how could you do this to me of all Smurfs?" Smurfette said, sounding very disappointed in him. "I thought that you truly cared about me."
"This smurf apologizes, but this smurf must prevent you and your family of Smurfs from harming my family of Smurfs," Empath said. "This smurf cares too much for them to not do anything about it."
Smurfette sighed. "Well, at least I know that my world's Empath will never mentally abuse me anymore, and at least for that I am grateful. I just wish that I can come over to be in your universe with you."
Empath shook his head. "This smurf is afraid that such a thing is never meant to be."
"You're not going to smurf away with this, Gargamel," Papa Smurf said defiantly. "You may have smurfed us of our powers, but we will find a way to smurf out of this."
"Exsmurfly," Brainy added. "And when we do, we're going to smurf after you and your friends and make you wish you never smurfed paths with us."
"You giants are going to be in for a world of real smurfing when we are smurfed with you!" Duncan said.
"QUIET!" Gargamel yelled. "I can't stand to hear what you miserable wretched Smurfs are even saying! I have put up with your abuse for far too long, and this time is where I draw the line."
"What are we going to do with those Smurfs we have captured, Master Gargamel?" Scruple asked.
"I'm much too good of a person to ever completely destroy them, Scruple," Gargamel answered. "But so that they can never be present to cause anymore harm again, I am going to subject them to a much worse punishment than death."
Then Empath and Polaris noticed that Gargamel had wielded what looked like the Key of Chronos...or at least this universe's version of it. He made a motion with the key as if he had stuck it inside an invisible keyhole, and then suddenly it opened a powerful vortex that was beginning to suck everything in the room into it.
Gargamel grabbed the cage full of Smurfs he had captured and threw them, cage and all, straight into the vortex. The Smurfs were crying out threats of vengeance against Gargamel as the mouth of the vortex enlarged itself to absorb the cage before it soon closed itself up, leaving the key to drop itself down to the floor.
"Gee, Master Gargamel, was that even necessary?" Scruple asked, sounding incredulous at what he saw.
"I'm afraid that it is, my dear Scruple," Gargamel said. "As much as I hated doing it, we had to do it in order to protect lives...not just ours in our world, but also others in other worlds."
"This smurf can only sympathy for what you're feeling right now, Gargamel," Empath said. "That was the hardest thing this smurf ever had to see being done to even the Smurfs."
"But now that our problem has been dealt with, we need to open the portal so that we go back to our own universe," Polaris reminded.
"You mean they're not going to stay here, Master Gargamel?" Scruple asked. "I'm beginning to like these two already."
"I'm sorry, my boy, but they don't belong here," Gargamel said, feeling like he was going to regret sending them home.