On board the S.S. Smurf II, Dreamy had Duncan and the crew inspect the ship for any damage after they had safely come out of the storm.

"So far everything's still shipshape, laddie," Duncan reported at the end of their inspection. "I say the old lassie's smurfed up much better than we thought that it would under such a tempest."

"It's too bad Empath isn't here," Dreamy sighed. "I'm not sure that we would even make it to the island in one piece without him."

"I know how you feel, laddie, I know," Duncan said, trying to comfort him. "But we have smurfed through the seas in the past without him before and have managed to smurf back home safely, just with all of us smurfing together as one family, one crew. The thing I'm worried about is how to break it to his wife Smurfette."

"But wouldn't she know already if Empath is gone, the way they are able to be smurfed together with one mind and one thought?" Dreamy asked.

"I don't pretend to understand how that smurfs, but those two have been insmurferable ever since they became husband and wife," Duncan said. "I would expect Smurfette to feel pretty miserable if she were married to me instead and she found out from another Smurf that I never was able to smurf home to her."

"And if it was me that Smurfette married, Duncan, I don't think that I would smurf in peace if she knew how I had smurfed my fate out here," Dreamy said.

Duncan sighed, realizing the helplessness of the situation. "Well, we still have a mission to undersmurf, so we might as well continue on in the name of our departed friend, that what we have smurfed will not be in vain," he said.

Dreamy nodded, understanding. "I appreciate you smurfing on board with me on this journey, Duncan. You help make me and this crew stay strong in our determination to complete the mission when things smurf to be hopeless."

Duncan smiled. "We'll smurf through this, all the way to the end. Just trust me."

Back in the Smurf Village, Polaris Psyche was alone near the outskirts in private meditation, trying to reach out with his mind to find where Empath could be, when Smurfette interrupted him by calling out his name.

"Salutations, Smurfette," Polaris greeted as he opened his eyes to see her calling his name. "What may this one do for you at this particular moment?"

"I know it's too much to ask of you, Polaris, but I was wondering if you could sense where Empath might be at this moment," Smurfette said.

"This one was already trying to search out for Empath while you were busy with your own matters, Smurfette," Polaris responded. "So far, though, this one's search through the use of meditation has been without any results."

"Do you think that he's probably dead...that he may have 'joined with the Ancestors' or have gone to the smurfy hereafter?" Smurfette asked.

"This one honestly does not know what the current status of Empath might be as far as his still being alive or not, Smurfette," Polaris answered. "All this one knows is simply that this one cannot yet make mental contact with Empath, which leaves this one to wonder what has happened that would prevent such contact from happening."

"That's just great...I can't sense anything of Empath and neither can you," Smurfette said, sounding like she was going to cry. "I have a feeling that I may never see Empath alive again."

"This one can understand that the loss of being able to sense Empath at this moment may be distressing, Smurfette," Polaris said, trying to sound comforting. "As one who has had a lifelong mental bond with Empath ever since our day of bondship, the feeling of separation between our minds has been one that this one had to live with ever since Empath left Psychelia for good. The intimacy we shared with our thoughts together has made this one feel so close to Empath that the idea of having to live one day without him being around to be an unbearable feeling. I can only imagine that you feel the same way right now."

"Yes, I do, Polaris, and that's what scares me," Smurfette said.

Polaris gently put his hand on Smurfette's shoulder and looked her straight in the eyes. "We will not give up on Empath until it is time for us to do so and move on with our lives, Smurfette," he resolutely said. "There is likely the possibility that we will find Empath still alive and in perfect health."

Smurfette sighed with some relief. "Thank you, Polaris. I think I needed to hear that from you."

As Empath continued to walk with Sympathy, seeing all that there was to see in the Smurfette Village, he found himself amazed by how everyone in the village worked together to make it a place worth living in for all its residents.

"The more I smurf at this place, the more it makes me not want to return home because it feels just like I'm already at home here in this village," Empath said.

"I know, Empath, and it saddens me that my fellow Smurfettes may not want to leave this place at all, if we could smurf off this island and return to your village, Empath," Sympathy said.

"But why is it that you can't leave this place, Sympathy?" Empath asked.

"Because of that evil witch Seraphine, who has smurfed upon this island some time ago to become a very powerful sorceress," Sympathy said. "She realized that there is magical power contained within the essence of a Smurf, and in order to get that power, she needs to harvest as many of us as she could smurf her hands on. She hasn't been able to succeed in that, as we have made sure in our many encounters with her, but she refuses to give up and smurf the light."

"But somehow a bird is able to leave this island and deliver a message...a message that had to smurf only from you, which I'm surprised you wouldn't let any Smurf here know about," Empath said.

"Seraphine controls the birds of the island like they were her pets...all except for our stork Icarus, who has been our faithful companion, Empath," Sympathy said. "Mother Smurfette protected Icarus since he smurfed from an egg and smurfed a spell to protect him from Seraphine's magical influence. This containment spell only affects us Smurfs, since she intends to smurf us here until she gets what she wants."

"So you need a Smurf that will help you break that spell so you could leave the island," Empath surmised. "And you were hoping that it would be this smurf that would come to your rescue."

"I know it's too much to ask for, but I always smurfed this feeling that there was a Smurf like me somewhere in this world that has faced many dangers and has conquered them with the same type of power that I have, Empath," Sympathy said. "Granted, I'm a very skilled telepath, and I can smurf things with my mind just as much as I can smurf them with my hands, but you...from the moment I touched you, I could sense that you know a whole lot more about how to smurf your powers that you could teach me."

"This smurf had very good teachers in Psychelia, Sympathy, which is why this smurf is able to do things that most Smurfs would even dream of smurfing," Empath said. "But even so, this smurf had to learn how to rely upon the strengths of this smurf's fellow Smurfs so that this smurf would know to be humble and not assume that this smurf alone can fix everybody's problems."

"I have a feeling that I'm going to smurf so much from you that we're going to never let each other go, Empath," Sympathy said.

Empath smiled even as he sensed that Sympathy was looking at him with longing eyes. "Let's smurf what happens first before we smurf anything the both of us might regret, Sympathy."

Then suddenly they could hear a rustling through the trees, like somebody with the agility of Wild Smurf was approaching. Soon they saw a Smurfette with light blond-brown hair, wearing a Smurf hat woven out of leaves and a skimpy two-piece outfit, land right before them.

"Sympathy, who's the boy Smurf that you're smurfing with?" the female equivalent to Wild Smurf asked as she gazed at him.

"Uh, this is Empath Smurf, Jungle, who has smurfed across the sea from the Smurf Village," Sympathy introduced. "Empath, this is Jungle Smurfette. She likes to smurf her time out in the forest, living among the animals than among us most of the time."

"This smurf is honored to meet you, Jungle," Empath said, extending his hand for a handshake.

"Oooh, you're really cute for a male Smurf," Jungle said as she shook Empath's hand. "Most of my sisters in the village think that I'm out of my mind to spend my time smurfing with the animals, but I feel like I undersmurf them better than I undersmurf my sisters. I can even communicate with them using the same sounds that they smurf with each other."

"I'm sure Empath knows of a Smurf who smurfs the same kind of skills as you do, right, Empath?" Sympathy said.

"Of course this smurf does, Sympathy," Empath said. "I'm certain that he would very much like to meet you sometime in the future, Jungle."

Jungle giggled. "He's got to be smurf on his feet if he's going to catch me. Say, why don't smurf some time with me out in the forest, and I can smurf you all of its sights, so you have something that you can smurf your friends?"

"Maybe sometime later, Jungle," Empath replied. "This smurf is more interested in getting to know everything that's in your village than what's outside it."

"Aw, too bad then," Jungle said with a heavy sigh. "Might as well smurf you later, because there may be something out in the forest that needs my attention." And with that, Jungle let out a cry as he leaped up toward the trees, grabbed herself a vine, and swung out into the forest again.

"Well, that's Jungle for you, Empath...she loves smurfing in the forest so much that I can't imagine her wanting to smurf her time here than anyplace else," Sympathy said. "Matter of fact, I'm not sure if my sister Smurfs would want to leave this place, either."

"Why would they, if they feel like they smurfed enough of themselves as single Smurfettes into making this village run without a single male Smurf to help them?" Empath said.

"We'll figure out what we're going to smurf after we get Seraphine to remove that spell from the island, Empath," Sympathy said. "Until then, we might as well not make the Smurfettes too upset with the idea of leaving."

"This smurf understands and acknowledges, Sympathy," Empath said, nodding in agreement.

It was suppertime, when the whole village gathered inside the dining area to be served by Gourmet and her kitchen assistants. The smell of the food tickled Empath's nose and made his mouth water just as much as Greedy's own cooking would back home. The Smurfettes also enjoyed a whiff of the scent that the food was producing, feeling like this was going to be the best meal they ever had.

"Smurfettes, I believe it is my honor that we should smurf our meal with the first Smurf visitor we've had from across the seas, our new friend Empath Smurf," Mother Smurfette announced, after which most of the Smurfettes have clapped their hands. "But before we begin our meal, our dear Storyteller would like to smurf a prayer of blessings upon the food and upon the fellowship that we have here tonight."

"Thank you, Mother Smurfette," a female Smurf with an appearance that resembled Narrator Smurf said as she stood up and clasped her hands together, bowing her head in reverence. Empath and the Smurfettes all did the same. "Mother Nature, we as creatures in this forest humbly thank you for the wonderful bounty that you have smurfed for all of us, for nothing in the forest can survive without your provision, and we ask that you will continue to provide for us everything that we need to live in our everyday smurfy lives that will honor the gifts that you smurf upon us. May your protective hand be upon our visitor so that he may be smurfed safe from every evil and that he may enjoy his time among us. And in this, so let it be."

"So let it be," the Smurfettes said together. And then the food was served, with every Smurfette given a good helping of each item that was prepared for that dinner.

"This is customary for you Smurfettes to pray for blessings at the beginning of each meal, this smurf assumes," Empath said to Sympathy as he watched his fellow Smurfettes begin to eat.

"We think it is appropriate that every meal should begin with a blessing, Empath," Sympathy responded. "It smurfs respect unto the guardian spirit who smurfs us everything in this world for us to enjoy. What about you?"

"This smurf used to pray to the Great Ancestors at the beginning of each meal when this smurf was in Psychelia, Sympathy," Empath said. "However, since this smurf was exiled from Psychelia, this smurf no longer feels the need to pray to any sort of deity. And besides, this smurf's fellow Smurfs usually pray blessings for meals on special occasions. I hope that doesn't offend you."

"I am hardly offended, Empath...I'm just simply saddened that your fellow Smurfs would not make Mother Nature as important to revere as we do," Sympathy said.

"Papa Smurf believes that every Smurf should be free to worship whatever deity they feel is worthy of their veneration, Sympathy, as long as who and what they worship doesn't smurf harm upon anyone else," Empath said. "My friend in the village Tapper worships a God that he calls the Almighty."

"The Almighty?" Sympathy said, sounding like she recognized that from somewhere. "That's what our village doctor Heather smurfs that she worships. She smurfs this big book around that she calls the Holy Scriptures, and she likes to read and quote verses from that book in the hope that others might believe in the same God that she believes in."

"This smurf would thought that Siobhan would be the one who calls herself a Christian around here," Empath said, sounding a bit confused.

"Siobhan likes to call herself a spiritualist, Empath," Sympathy said. "She does like to read from Heather's holy book, but she finds herself at odds with the idea that this Almighty is the only one who could smurf her eternal life. You don't think that this Tapper might find her interesting because she doesn't believe in his God?"

"I would like to let Tapper be the one to decide that for himself, if we will ever meet together as two villages joined together," Empath said.

"I'm wondering, Empath, if it's true that there's a male Smurf counterpart of every Smurfette here, which is the rumor that I'm smurfing around this village," Librarian asked, with the other Smurfettes also asking the same thing.

"I honestly haven't met every Smurfette here in this village to answer that question, Librarian," Empath answered. "But judging what this smurf has seen so far, it's a pretty safe bet that there would be a male Smurf whose behavior and occupation is similar or identical to that of a Smurfette here."

That got the Smurfettes talking among themselves.

"His Smurf Village has Smurfs that are just like us?"

"That's just incredible!"

"Nonsense! They're not exact duplicates of us!"

"Why would there be a village full of Smurfs that are copies of us?"

"I don't want to marry a copy of myself!"

"I wonder how those Smurfs could smurf everything that we smurf here!"

"I don't think those boys could even smurf their own weight!"

"What was Mother Nature thinking when she created them?"

"Something about this doesn't seem right!"

When the talking died down, Mother Smurfette decided to speak. "Smurfettes, I'm sure it must fascinating to discover that our fellow Smurfs from across the sea may share the same skills and the same personalities as our own Smurfettes, but the one thing we're not going to do is just jump on board a ship and leave our village to meet them. Each of you have proven over the years to be capable Smurfettes who can help make a village run smurfectly as a family, and that's not something that we're going to abandon at the drop of a smurf."

"But Mother Smurfette, I'm sure that there are some of us who would like to meet these Smurfs to smurf for ourselves what kind of Smurfs they are, that we might find someone interesting to settle down with," Librarian said, with a few other Smurfettes also agreeing with her.

"Librarian, my mind is made up," Mother Smurfette said. "When Empath's friends arrive on our shores, we will smurf them only what they need to know about our village and then smurf them back home. We will not smurf them anything else unless I'm sure that we can establish a mutual relationship between the villages, to hopefully discuss the matter directly with this Papa Smurf himself. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, Mother Smurfette!" all the Smurfettes said together. Empath sensed that a good deal of the Smurfettes felt sad and disappointed that Mother Smurfette would show Empath's fellow Smurfs to the door just as soon as they would arrive. It was as if Mother Smurfette herself didn't want her daughters to leave the village, as they became too important for her to let go of.

Empath noticed that Sympathy shared the same feeling as well. She felt as if she was no longer hungry, as she pushed her plate of food away and headed for the door. He decided that he would follow her outside and talk to her.

"What's wrong, Sympathy?" Empath asked gently as the two of them sat alone with each other outside the dining area.

"It's Mother Smurfette," Sympathy answered, trying to stifle a tear. "She's so afraid that if we joined with our fellow Smurfs back in your village, we would lose our special place in the world, among ourselves...the feeling like we could smurf things just as well as the male Smurfs."

"It must have been difficult for you to smurf a good deal of your life without a male Smurf to keep you company," Empath said, putting an arm around her shoulder. "You fear that a male Smurf in your life now is going to smurf that special part of yourself away from you."

"We never asked for this kind of life to have every male Smurf that were among our parents smurfed away from us when we were children," Sympathy said. "What did we smurf to anybody that would cause such a disaster to befall us? Why was my mother the only one among them who survived?"

"It wasn't your fault that any of that happened, Sympathy," Empath said. "It was just a terrible part of your life that you had to smurf through, as also this smurf's fellow Smurfs did. But the thing is, you survived, and so did your sister Smurfs, and you helped smurfed this village into what it is now. You should be proud of what you accomplished."

"But none of it is going to matter if we can't deal with Seraphine and that spell she used to block us from ever leaving, Empath," Sympathy said. "Because if we don't smurf anything about it, you and your friends will never leave here either."

Empath nodded as he understood. "We'll find a way to remove that spell and put an end to Seraphine's evil schemes, Sympathy," he told her as he held her close to him.

Smurf to Part 6

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