EMPATH: THE LUCKIEST SMURF
"Reporter's Inside Stories: An Interview With Polaris Psyche"
Story by Vic George
Based on the Smurf concept of characters by Peyo
Reporter: Empath may have smurfed most of his 150 years outside the Smurf Village, but he smurftainly didn't smurf it alone. A friend of his by the name of Polaris Psyche has been smurfing with us over the past year in the village. He's perhaps the most unusual resident of the village since he looks partly like a Smurf and partly like a human. Like Empath at one time, Polaris isn't very expressive when it comes to emotions, but he is very loyal and trustworthy when it comes to smurfing out for the well-being of every Smurf here. This is one person worth smurfing out more about.
(Polaris Psyche emerges out of Empath's house when Reporter approaches him.)
Polaris: Salutations, fellow Reporter. How may this one help you?
Reporter: Well, "this one" wishes to smurf an interview with you, Polaris, if you don't mind smurfing things about yourself to every Smurf here.
Polaris: This one sees this as being very invasive and pointless. This one wishes you would ask some other Smurf to do an interview with.
Reporter: That's why I wish to smurf this interview with you -- you're the only one here that's not a Smurf, and I think everyone wants to know what a Psyche does.
Polaris: A Psyche does not engage in pointless idle conversation. A Psyche is a very productive being, working from morning to night serving the greater good of the community. Leisure and relaxation are not part of the daily routine of a Psyche.
Reporter: Gee, that's funny. That time you smurfed in the Imaginarium with that former fantasy friend of yours Elatia sure looks like you were smurfing a good time.
Polaris: That is a very private matter. And for your information, Elatia wasn't an Imaginarium-created fantasy -- she was a disembodied spirit who was trapped within one of the Imaginarium crystals that somehow latched onto this one.
Reporter: Whoa, take it easy, Polaris. I didn't know you actually had feelings for her.
Polaris: To be perfectly honest, this one didn't know about having feelings for her, either.
Reporter: Okay, enough smurfed about Elatia. How come, out of all the Psyches, you happen to be Empath's friend? You don't seem to be social around anyone here but Empath.
Polaris: Empath has been a lifelong curiosity of this one. Ever since we were in Psychelia together, this one couldn't help noticing how different Empath was because of his physical differences compared to the other Psyches in Psychelia. Of course, Psyches aren't supposed to have what you call curiosity. This one doesn't know why this one ended up being curious about Empath, however.
It's probably because this one remembered seeing this being who had the same
skin color that Empath did who appeared in Psychelia, but was rather
half-dressed in a red suit with a graying brown beard -- the being this one
came to know as Papa Smurf.
Reporter: So how did you find out Empath was a Smurf?
Polaris: This one and Empath were part of a rock-climbing lesson. This one went ahead of Empath when this one slipped and fell. This one grabbed for something to prevent this one from falling any further, but as it turned out, this one ended up grabbing Empath's tail by accident. However, this one did not know Empath had a tail until he showed this one. Sometime later, this one asked Empath about his tail and his blue skin, and that was when Empath told this one all about your people.
Reporter: This happened after Empath had first visited the Smurf Village when he was around 70 years old?
Polaris: This one believes so. Before that, Empath behaved like a true Psyche. Afterward, he began exhibiting some behaviors that were not Psychelian in nature. His constant attempts to remove his Psychelian bodysuit is one prime example, for Psyches do not expose themselves in front of other Psyches. This one had to link with Empath's mind in order to get him to stop trying to remove his suit.
Reporter: I don't have much of an undersmurfing of Psyche culture, Polaris, but it smurfs that your people were highly tolerant of Empath's smurfings-on there. I mean, Smurfs here basically don't raise a smurf over somebody being "underdressed", as you and Empath are fond of smurfing.
Polaris: If you only knew firsthand how the Psyches have tolerated all sorts of behaviors that Empath has exhibited over the past 80 years he has been in Psychelia, Reporter, you might think otherwise. Fortunately, the Psyche Master has somehow kept Empath in line with the help of this one and some of his instructors in Psychelia. Of course, this one didn't know that Papa Smurf and the Psyche Master had an arrangement that allowed Empath to leave Psychelia permanently when he turned 150 years of age.
Reporter: Honestly, I never thought of Empath as being a troublesmurfer, Polaris, since here he is the most considerate Smurf I've ever known.
Polaris: It is not saying that Empath is entirely innocent or evil in any way, just that Empath like most beings has a balance of selflessness and selfishness in himself, and that both are exhibited in various ways at different times.
Reporter: How did the Psyche Master tolerate this friendship being in existence behind his smurf, then?
Polaris: The relationship wasn't entirely "behind his back", if that's you mean, Reporter, because the Psyche Master has the ability to monitor the thoughts of all Psyches. Empath, however, has always been outside the link of minds that existed between Psyches, though he is not outside the Psyche Master's own scrutiny. The relationship was partly formed when the Psyche Master realized that this one had more knowledge about the Smurfs than any Psyche should have, but instead of using that knowledge for selfish purposes, this one has used the knowledge to help Empath control his behaviors in Psychelia. So this one was assigned the task of being Empath's monitor, so that his behaviors did not disrupt any activities going on in Psychelia. Over the years, however, this one has learned a great deal about what the Smurfs do in their daily activities through Empath.
Reporter: This "link of minds" thing smurfs like what Empath is capable of doing -- linking the minds of all the Smurfs in the village to smurf his own third eye abilities become stronger.
Polaris: This one is aware of Empath's ability of linking the minds of the Smurfs to his own. It is something only the Psyche Master is capable of doing himself. We, the Psyches who are merely parts of the link, have very little control over this link, though in it we are able to hear each other's thoughts. This one can safely assume that is what you and the other Smurfs experience when Empath engages this link.
Reporter: (shudders briefly when he remembers those experiences, but doesn't say anything about them.) But you are no longer part of that link since you left Psychelia?
Polaris: That is correct. It is not known how long this one is able to exist outside the link of minds in Psychelia, though this one admits being able to communicate to somebody that's not linked is more interesting and stimulating than communicating in a link. For people who are very exhibitionistic and expressive, the Smurfs seem to have a balancing sense of privacy and a need for personal space. This one can sense this and know pretty much not to invade somebody's personal space unless it is an emergency situation
Reporter: Well, you and Empath aren't exactly private smurfing in the same house together.
Polaris: This one and Empath are pretty much respective of each other to know where to draw the line as to the limits of our personal space. Most Smurfs pretty much assume that our relationship together is something akin to the type of relationship Vanity wishes to have, since we both live in the same residence. The truth is that this one and Empath are not that intimate with each other, only very closely connected and yet respectfully distanced. When the time comes that Empath or this one requires a bit more personal space than a single residence can provide, we will make new accommodations.
Reporter: Why did you choose to leave Psychelia for a life in the Smurf Village?
Polaris: Ever since Empath left Psychelia, this one started to feel a void in the relationship, and the Psyche Master felt it necessary to purge this one of any memories this one had of Empath when he was in Psychelia. However, this one learned enough about himself through Empath to realize that having this one's memories of a friend purged is wrong, that being in Psychelia without Empath is no longer a fulfilling way of life. Eventually, this one made a daring escape to the Smurf Village to find Empath, though admitted this one also brought some trouble along the way since the Psyche Master still regarded this one as nothing more than his personal property.
Reporter: Sounds like you were a slave in Psychelia, and you wanted out.
Polaris: Concisely put, that is how it was for this one, Reporter. When Empath had found this one and nursed this one back to health, he and this one traveled back to Psychelia to discuss this matter with the Psyche Master. This one stated his case to the Psyche Master with Empath as my witness, saying that this one would continue to refuse being treated like a slave. At that point, the Psyche Master decided it would be in his interests to exile me from Psychelia permanently. Without him and this one's fellow Psyches, this one ended up making a home for himself in the Smurf Village, continuing to learn firsthand how Smurfs live their lives.
Reporter: Do you still smurf the same kind of prejudices about Smurfs that Empath once did -- about Smurfs being savages and such?
Polaris: The Psyche Master has taught this one and every Psyche to view all outsiders as being dangerous entities that thrive on perverse forms of pleasure for their gratification. Unfortunately, that view also applied to Smurfs, for even though they do not seem to be as dangerous as the Psyche Master claims them to be, the very fact of their wearing little clothing in public eyes does suggest that they engage in perverse pleasures. That statement was not meant to be offensive in any way, but Empath and now the rest of you have shown this one the truth behind the myth and the stereotype.
Reporter: What about Papa Smurf? How do you handle you he feels toward you?
Polaris: This one tries not to let whatever prejudices he or any other Smurf except for Empath may feel toward this one's own people affect how this one reacts toward him or any other Smurf. Psyches do not allow themselves to be given in to humiliation and discrimination of any sort. Acting on prejudiced thoughts in hostile ways would only be what a true savage being might do, and this one is too much of a Psyche to engage in such hostility.
Reporter: Okay, how about this relationship Empath seems to be smurfing with Smurfette? Every Smurf around here has been smurfing the two of them together a lot, and it's very unusual for Smurfette to be with only one Smurf for a good period of time. What do you seem to smurf of it? Do you think they may be falling in love or what?
Polaris: This one does not have much of a grasp of the complex behavior patterns in romantic relationships to make a comment about it, Reporter.
Reporter: Does it make you jealous that Empath may have someone like Smurfette that loves him and you don't?
Polaris: Smurfette is a very beautiful female Smurf, but this one does not feel the same things for her that every Smurf believes Empath may be feeling. However, if it is intended that Empath and Smurfette are to be bonded together, then this one will not stand in either one's way.
Reporter: Don't you sometimes wish there was a female Psyche you could have a relationship with, Polaris?
Polaris: The thought doesn't entirely escape this one's mind, Reporter, though male and female Psyches do not engage in willfully seeking out such relationships with each other because the Psyche Master sees them as a distraction. Procreation of the Psyches is handled in a manner that this one is not privileged to discuss even to outsiders.
Reporter: From what I smurfed about it from Empath, you Psyches smurf off your lives as Psychelings, which to us would be the equivalent of a 50-year old Smurfling.
Polaris: That is correct. Unlike Empath and the rest of your people, Psyches only require a full year to develop from an embryo into what you would call a Psycheling. A generation of new Psychelings emerge into the world every 100 years. This one is a member of the K generation, designation 1124. Empath's designation is 1137.
Reporter: I can't imagine any Smurf using numbers as names for themsmurfs.
Polaris: It has been an efficient system for generations of Psyches, Reporter. Though it does lack that element of personality, as your names are capable of giving you.
Reporter: This "day of emergence", Polaris, which is what I remember Empath smurfing one time, is what you Psyches call your smurfday?
Polaris: It is in essence our "birthdays". The Psyches do not celebrate our day of emergence with individual parties and gifts. Rather, it is a collective ritual of various hardships and trials to prove our worthiness of being a true Psyche. This one will not go into detail about the various trials that we engage in, only that we receive the most reverent blessing of the Psyche Master when we successfully complete our rituals.
Reporter: Smurfing of parties, I have noticed that you don't eat sweets and you don't drink anything like sarsaparilla ale. How come you're like that, Polaris?
Polaris: This one is allergic to sugar, Reporter. All Psyches are allergic to sugar. It is unfortunate that this one found that out by trying what Empath calls a smurfberry for the first time. It has a sweetness beyond what this one could describe, but it was a brief pleasure that cost this one a great deal of discomfort in the form of spasms.
Reporter: Well, as Hefty would say, whatever doesn't smurf you dead will only make you stronger.
Polaris: Hefty seems a bit too brazen in making a statement like that, given that he doesn't know what it is to be a Psyche.
Reporter: One last thing -- do you ever smurf yourself in any kind of role for yoursmurf in the future here? You seem to be have no real position other than being a personal advisor to Empath and Papa Smurf.
Polaris: It does not matter where in the social structure of the Smurf Village this one stands at this point, since this one also sees most other Smurfs with no "real positions" that are quite comfortable where they are right now. This one does his best to make as much contributions to this community as personally possible with the abilities this one possesses, but this one is not seeking personal glory as Empath and some others seem to be after. As for being an advisor, this one acts only as that, but otherwise Papa Smurf is still the village leader, and this one will carry out his orders even if they are against this one's better judgment. The only time this one will not carry out Papa Smurf's orders is if he is in any way controlled by forces that make him unfit for command.
Reporter: Knowing you and Empath's ability to sense emotions, you two seem to know when Papa Smurf isn't acting like himsmurf.
Polaris: That is correct, though unfortunately magic spells cast upon him do block our abilities to sense anything from Papa Smurf, or any other Smurf, for that matter. By the way, your interview has used up valuable time that this one could have used in the active productivity of the village community.
Reporter: Not really, since reporting the news is part of that active productivity as well.
Polaris: Then this one hopes to have satisfied your curiosity about this one's life, Reporter.
Reporter: Well, you've smurftainly given me a mouthful. Thanks for the interview, Polaris.
Polaris: This one appreciates the gesture, Reporter, though this one believes Greedy would be the most appropriate person for giving you "a mouthful" of anything, provided that he hasn't eaten it all beforehand.
(With that, Polaris heads off to Papa Smurf's laboratory.)
Reporter: Whoa, and to think that someone like him wouldn't have a sense of humor!
NOTE: Polaris Psyche would probably be voiced by Tim
Russ, the actor who played Lt. Cmdr. Tuvok in Star Trek: Voyager.