The following morning, most of the Smurfs in the village have gathered together for their breakfast when they noticed who just walked in. It was Empath.
"Sacre bleu, it can't be!" Painter exclaimed.
"But it is him!" Vanity said. "He's finally awake!"
"I hate being awakened," Grouchy said.
Smurfette greeted Empath with a kiss. "Good morning to you, sleepyhead," she said with a smile. "So how was your long rest?"
"It felt like this smurf having to rescue the village was only yesterday, Smurfette, but it has actually been two weeks," Empath replied. "This smurf hopes that there's a good breakfast waiting for this smurf."
Duncan chuckled. "Well, the laddie hasn't lost his appetite, as far as anyone is concerned."
"That was quite a long time to smurf without food, though not as long as Lazy's wintry slumber, my fellow Duncan," Tapper said.
"So, Empath, do you feel ready to resume your duties as the assistant counselor?" Papa Smurf asked.
"Maybe in a few days, Papa Smurf," Empath answered. "This smurf feels like there is still some magic residue within this smurf that needs to be purged before this smurf can operate at full capacity."
"Smurf as much time as you need, Empath, but suffice it to say, it is good to smurf you back with us," Papa Smurf said, smiling.
Just then, a horn had sounded, and Harmony had just entered the dining hall, playing the summons signal. "Hear ye, hear ye, all you Smurfs," he proclaimed in a loud voice. "Handy and Architect invite you to a grand smurfening of the new Smurfy Tower smurfominium."
"Smurfy Tower?!?" all the Smurfs said in unison.
"A smurfominium? Could that possibly be happening?" Dreamy said with some curiosity.
"Smurfy Tower? Now what is that all about?" Empath asked.
"I don't know, Empath," Smurfette answered. "I just know that Handy and Architect have been busy in the forest smurfing something together. Maybe we should find out together."
"This one will accompany you," Polaris said.
Soon a crowd of Smurfs have gathered behind a roped-off area in the forest, standing before something tall that was draped entirely in long red fabric. Hefty stood by the cordon to make sure nobody would cross beyond the ropes until the time was ready.
"Step aside, my fellow Smurfs, step aside," Brainy said as he headed to the front of the crowd behind the ropes. "Could somebody tell me what's smurfing on here? I smurfed up late for breakfast only to find that nobody was left in the dining hall."
"Oh, golly, Brainy, somebody just smurfed up the ropes," Clumsy answered. "Harmony said there was something about a Smurfy Tower, but I have no idea what that is or even means."
"Oh, really?" Brainy sneered. "No silly rope is going to stop Brainy Smurf from finding out."
"Then what about a big Smurf who's going to give you a big smurf for crossing the ropes before it's time?" Hefty bravely stated as Brainy tried to cross over.
Brainy chuckled sheepishly. "Well, a big Smurf, now that is different, and I can respect that," he said as he let go of the rope and drew back into the crowd.
"Hefty, what's smurfing on up there?" Smurfette asked as she looked at the top of the structure.
"Sorry, Smurfette, but I have been smurfed to secrecy," Hefty answered. "You'll have to wait like everybody else until it is revealed."
"Polaris, can you sense what it is that those Smurfs are hiding from the other Smurfs?" Empath asked privately as he stood next to Smurfette and Polaris.
"It would not be prudent to declare what this project actually is that those Smurfs have built before the time, Empath, but this one can assure you that there is no malicious intent on the part of its creators," Polaris answered.
Empath snorted. "Well, this smurf wouldn't think you would be purposely secretive regarding such a building project, Polaris."
"This one is only honoring the actual intent of what its creators wish to reveal this project as, Empath, nothing more," Polaris said.
"Well, come on, Hefty, you can tell us," Greedy said, sounding rather anxious. The other Smurf also voiced similar thoughts, wishing to know just what it is they were seeing.
"Brainy, what's smurfing on here? And what's with this Smurfy Tower that was announced earlier at breakfast?" Papa Smurf asked as he approached the front of the crowd.
"Ask Hefty," Brainy answered in a condescending tone.
"Well, Hefty?" Papa Smurf asked rather insistently.
Hefty found himself in a bind to answer. "Gee, Papa Smurf, I, uh..."
"It's okay, Hefty, you can let them through," Architect called out. Hefty then loosened the cordon ropes so that the other Smurfs could gather round and get a closer look.
Architect then appeared from behind the drapery. "We're ready for the unveiling ceremony. Drummer, if you could provide the appropriate music for the occasion..."
Drummer took it as his cue to start drumming a steady beat to get every Smurf anticipating the moment of the unveiling. "Welcome, ladies and gentlesmurfs," Architect announced as he held a cord in his hand. "I won't smurf you in suspense any longer. Behold, the smurfy future!"
And then with a tug of the rope, and Harmony playing a "ta-da" note on his horn, the drapery fell, and the Smurfs looked and saw that it was a tree that has been converted into what looked like an apartment building that reached into the sky, with a Smurf house perched on its very top. The Smurfs beheld this sight in complete wonder, not knowing what to make of it.
"I call it the smurfominium, but you can call it Smurfy Tower," Architect said proudly.
"Oh, wow, a real smurfominium," Clumsy said. "Uh, what's a smurfominium?"
"Why, Clumsy, that's a simple question to answer," Architect replied, as Handy joined beside him, all covered in grease. "A smurfominium is simply 102 houses all smurfed together into one."
"And it all comes with indoor plumbing, central heating, and a smurfovator," Handy added.
"A house with 102 houses in it," Dreamy said, as he continued to stare at the building before him. "That's just what I dreamed about some years ago."
"Well, that certainly sounds very interesting, don't you think, Polaris?" Empath said, intrigued by the description.
"This one would certainly concur, Empath," Polaris said.
"Isn't this spectacular, Papa Smurf?" Architect asked.
Papa Smurf wasn't sure what to answer. "Uh...yes...well, uh...I have never smurfed anything quite like it before," he finally said.
"I can help you pack your things, Papa Smurf, and you can be the very first to move in to your very own smurfominium," Architect offered.
"Well, that's very kind of you, Architect, but I'm afraid that it's just not for me," Papa Smurf said, trying to be gentle with his refusal. "Now, if you excuse me, I have work to do."
"Come to smurf of it, I've got breakfast that's smurfing cold," Greedy said as he started to follow Papa Smurf back to the village.
"And I've got wood to split," Hefty said, also following after Greedy.
Architect watched as most of the Smurfs started to walk away. He felt like he was losing everybody's interest in the new project, and now he had to find a way to recapture that interest and get them sold on the idea of the smurfominium before it was too late.
"Wait, my fellow Smurfs," Architect cried out. "Don't you want your free gift?"
That captured just about everybody's attention. "Free gift?!?" they all said in unison.
"Yes, indeed...your very own custom-made smurfominium," Architect responded.
"Oh, that's very nice of you, Architect, but what would we do with a smurfominium?" Smurfette asked.
"Why, live in it, of course!" Architect answered.
"But what's the point, since we already have houses to smurf in?" Hefty asked.
"Sure...plain old inconvenient houses," Architect scoffed. "I'm offering you the lap of luxury, convenience like you never smurfed before. No more dirty fireplaces to clean, no more buckets of water to fetch, no more smurfing through sleet and snow just to grab a snack. With every Smurf living under one roof, life will be a snap. Wouldn't you say?"
Just about every Smurf cheered when they heard this. Already the smurfominium was sounding more and more appealing the more they thought about their current living conditions.
"Welcome to smurfominium life, my fellow Smurfs," Architect said, smiling as he raised up his arms in triumph.
Smurfette looked at Empath. "Oooh, that sure smurfs like a smurfy thing to try out, Empath. Are you going to join me in smurfing your own smurfominium?"
"This smurf isn't sure about the idea of every Smurf living in a single confined space, Smurfette," Empath said, sounding reluctant. "It sounds rather dangerous."
"Oh, come on, Empath," Smurfette said. "It will be better for you and for Polaris to smurf together as members of one community, and who knows, you just might be my next-door neighbor. Wouldn't that be smurfy?"
"I would have to agree with Empath, my dear Smurfette," Tapper said as he stood with Duncan McSmurf beside him. "Something in my spirit tells me that such a living arrangement could present a danger that would destroy all our fellow Smurfs in a single blow."
"Aye, laddie," Duncan McSmurf said. "Ain't no way you're going to catch me smurfing in one of those death traps."
Smurfette snorted in total disgust. "Well, smurfs like I'm going to be smurfing a few less friends if you're not going to join me in Smurfy Tower."
Empath, Polaris, Tapper, and Duncan watched as Smurfette walked away with her nose in the air. "This smurf was only trying to be a voice of reason in this situation, Polaris," Empath said.
"This one believes you will have to let Smurfette pursue this dream for herself, to whatever end that may ultimately lead, Empath," Polaris said. "If she's determined to go through with living in such a confined space, there's little that you or this one can do to convince her otherwise."
"All we can do is pray for those souls, my friends," Tapper said. "Come, let's return to the village where we can enjoy our breakfast in peace."
"We won't leave them to their own smurfs," Duncan said. "Sooner or later, they'll find out how much better smurfing in the village really is."
And soon throughout the early part of the day, most of the Smurfs were bringing all their furniture and personal possessions to Smurfy Tower in order to begin moving into their new smurfominiums. There was a long line of Smurfs just waiting to be assigned their apartment numbers just so they could be started on settling in. Architect called forth each Smurf forward and assigned them their numbers. Some complained, while others seemed grateful.
"Smurf, Seven D," Architect said as he assigned Hefty his living space.
"Thanks, Architect," Hefty said, sounding grateful. "I'll be smurfing my barbells and smurf right back here."
Architect sighed as he saw Hefty head back to the village to get his possessions. He saw on his list that about half the Smurfs in the village now have their assigned numbers and were moving in. "Ah, looks like my smurfominium is a big success," he said to himself.
"Oh, Architect, there's no hot water up here," Smurfette called out from a window.
"Or heat," Greedy called out from a window above Smurfette's, while wearing a blanket around himself and shivering. "My kitchen's an ice box."
"Yeah, it's so cold that my music sheets are frozen," Harmony called out from a much higher balcony while holding a sheet of music with icicles formed on the underside.
"I hate frozen sheets," Grouchy said, shivering as he stood on the balcony below Harmony's.
Architect realized he had a problem on his hands to deal with as he heard his fellow Smurfs' complaints. "Hey, hold onto your smurfs," he responded. "I'll have it fixed in a jiffy."
"Perhaps I can be of some assistance while you smurf with the smurfominium's problems, Architect," Narrator offered while he stepped forward.
"Sure, Narrator," Architect said, handing the list over to Narrator. He went into the basement to see what's going on with the furnace that Handy had installed into the building and then noticed it as he looked inside the furnace. "Ah, there's the problem. I just forgot to light the furnace."
"Architect, come quickly!" he heard Handy cry out. Architect turned and saw that Handy looked like he was now spotted with mud instead of grease. "Vanity forgot to shut off his bath and now three floors are flooded in mud!"
"Mud?" Architect said. "How can that be?"
"He was taking a mud bath," Handy replied.
Architect groaned. "Don't worry. I will help you fix the problem."
Back in the village, the Smurflings came out of the kitchen, feeling all worn out. "Crazy chameleons, that was sure a lot of dishes we had to smurf up after breakfast today," Sassette said.
"You smurfed it, Sassy," Slouchy said. "My hands feel so wrinkled from all that hot water we had to smurf those dishes in, I'm afraid to even take a bath again."
"Well, if most of the Smurfs are going to smurf away in that Smurfy Tower instead of smurfing with us in the village, what else can we smurf?" Nat said.
"Maybe those Smurfs have the right idea, that we should be smurfing all under one roof instead of smurfing in our separate houses like we normally smurf," Snappy said.
"But we're too young to have a smurfominium all to ourselves, and besides Pappy won't let us smurf in one until we're all grown up like the grown-ups," Sassette said.
"I don't know about you Smurflings, but I'm going to find a way to smurf my own smurfominium, whether Papa Smurf likes it or not," Snappy said defiantly before he walked off.
Nat sighed. "Well, we can't say that we didn't warn Snappy."
"Besides, how is that even going to work if Snappy's going to smurf in one all by himself?" Slouchy asked.
"How should I know?" Sassette responded. "I guess we're all going to smurf the hard way what it's like to smurf on our own when we're all grown up."
Then Empath and Polaris came walking by. "This smurf hates to be the bearer of bad news, but there's still more chores that we're going to have to do together if we want to keep the village running, and Tapper and Duncan are already at work helping to do a good deal of them," Empath announced.
"Aw, gee, we're never going to smurf any rest around here," Sassette complained.
"Only when we sleep, Sassy, but that's about it," Slouchy said.
"How come you're not smurfing into Smurfy Tower so you can be with Smurfette?" Nat asked.
"That is a rather personal question to ask of Empath, fellow Nat," Polaris stated.
"This smurf believes this may be the time when we should have some space between us as far as our relationship goes, even if that means she is living outside the village in what may be a dangerous place," Empath answered.
"I sure would like to visit Smurfette, even if she is living in an entirely new place," Sassette said. "Maybe you should go and visit her as well."
"Yeah," Slouchy said. "She could at least know that you still care for her."
Empath nodded. "This smurf will see what can be done as far as maintaining that relationship, Sassette. For now, let's get going on these chores so that we can keep things orderly in the village."
"This one will accompany you Smurflings," Polaris said, sounding a bit eager in spite of not really expressing any emotion.
Empath watched as Polaris went with the Smurflings to do their assigned chores. Then Papa Smurf came walking by to see how things were running in the village. "How are you smurfing up, Empath?" he asked. "I know it's a little too soon to smurf you back into your role as the assistant counselor, but with things being short-smurfed as they are..."
"This smurf is doing fine, Papa Smurf," Empath said rather abruptly, interrupting Papa Smurf before he could finish. He then took a big breath. "This smurf apologizes for that response. However, despite being limited in what this smurf could do as far as telepathic and telekinetic abilities are concerned, this smurf is willing to put the effort in to keep things going."
"It's going to be hard with only several of us Smurfs left in the village, Empath, but we're going to smurf it through nonetheless," Papa Smurf said, trying to sound comforting.
"But without Brainy here, that's going to leave you with one less assistant to help you with your experiments, Papa Smurf," Empath said. "And besides, he still has a long way to go if he wants to become a sorcerer like you someday."
"That part I will manage, Empath," Papa Smurf said. "I didn't exactly have much time to learn all that I had to learn about sorcery from my old mentor Paladore personally. But somehow things still smurfed out for the best. I suspect that Brainy will smurf out things on his own long after I am gone from this world."
"You're not worried that Brainy isn't going to measure up to you as far as being a master sorcerer when all is said and done?" Empath asked.
"Brainy doesn't have to measure up to me to be the best, Empath," Papa Smurf answered. "The only one he has to measure up to is himself. If he's willing to smurf in the time to become the best that he wants to be in one thing, then he will eventually achieve it no matter what else happens. That's something Paladore taught me in my brief encounter with him many years ago."
Empath sighed. "This smurf hopes to be there to see Brainy become the best that he wants to be in whatever he wants to be in the future, Papa Smurf."