Part 5

Back in the Smurf Village, Empath brought Polaris to Tailor's workshop, where he had made a pair of dark blue pants and a white long-sleeved shirt for Polaris to wear. As much as Tailor didn't like making shirts for anyone but the female Smurfs to wear, he nevertheless gave Polaris what he wanted. Empath and Papa Smurf waited outside the workshop until Polaris emerged in his new clothes.
"So how do you like the new clothes Tailor had smurfed for you, Polaris?" Papa Smurf asked.
"The clothes feel...comfortable and appropriate, Papa Smurf," Polaris answered. "This one appreciates his efforts."
"Good," Papa Smurf said. "I have decided that I will allow you to smurf in our village for as long as you want...provided, of course, that we won't have to smurf with anymore Psyches that will attack our village."
"This one will assure you of that, Papa Smurf," Polaris stated. "This one only hopes that you will not be offended by the presence of a Psyche in the village, given your misgivings with the Psyche Master and what he has personally done to you and your son."
"Empath trusts you with his life, Polaris," Papa Smurf replied. "And I trust Empath's judgment that you will make a fine addition to the village. It will take some time for the other Smurfs to smurf used to you smurfing around. But I'm sure that you will smurf some friends here in good time."
"This one hopes to repay your kindness by contributing something to your community, Papa Smurf," Polaris said.
"Empath can assign you to whatever tasks he smurfs fit for you to accomplish, Polaris," Papa Smurf told him. "For now, though, smurf some time to make yoursmurf at home with us, and if you have any questions, please feel free to smurf me about them." He then extended his hand toward Polaris. "And with that, may I officially welcome you into the Smurf Village!"
Polaris reached out and shook Papa Smurf's hand, somewhat tentative of touching the village leader, but sensing that he meant no harm.
"This one appreciates the honor you have shown this one, Papa Smurf," Polaris said.
After Papa Smurf walked away, Polaris turned toward Empath. "This smurf senses you're feeling rather...nervous about the freedom you're now given, Polaris," Empath spoke.
"It sounds like an understatement of what this one is actually feeling, Empath," Polaris concurred. "This one is so used to the order and structure that being in Psychelia has provided this one for years, to be part of the collective conscience, to know from day to day what this one's purpose in life was directed to become. To now have that sense of order and direction taken away from this one, to be able to choose this one's own destiny, is more than what this one is able to handle. This one cannot fathom how you are able to handle this kind of freedom."
"Having freedom doesn't have to mean a loss of order and structure, Polaris," Empath explained. "At the same time, you don't have to worry about the Psyche Master monitoring your thoughts anymore, so you are free to think whatever it is you want to think about. Only you and this smurf can know what's on each other's minds."
"That is a rather...comforting thought, Empath, given how much this one knows about you and your people," Polaris said.
"Give it some time, Polaris," Empath advised. "You'll come to love being able to think for yourself in the village. For now, let's celebrate your freedom. It's time you got to experience the life of a Smurf firsthand!"
"This one will accompany you, Empath," Polaris said as he followed Empath.

Over the course of the day, Empath had shown Polaris all around the Smurf Village, meeting every Smurf that Polaris had only heard about and also meeting those whom Empath had just met when he was released from Psychelia. It felt a little unnerving for most of the Smurfs to have Polaris know so much about them while they in turn knew so little about him. From what Empath had told his fellow Smurfs about the Psyches, Polaris did seem rather cold and distant, as if he was born without any emotions and without any need to communicate with anyone else. The way he was staring at every Smurf, as if he was expecting them to do something totally weird, made them feel rather self-conscious, like it was shameful for them to just act normal around him. Empath knew that it was going to take some time for his fellow Smurfs and Polaris to get used to each other.
Smurfette, however, didn't mind being around Polaris, given that she had some experience handling Empath's behavior when they first met. And Polaris, in turn, didn't mind being around Smurfette, though it did make him feel awkward noticing how beautiful and attractive she was compared to Psychelian females.
"Do all Psyches in your village smurf exactly like you, Polaris?" Smurfette asked when Empath left him alone with her to do something.
"Psyches have rather minor variations to their appearances, Smurfette," Polaris answered. "However, none of us are created to be much different from each other, apart from gender."
"Hmmm, it just makes me wonder about how much alike the Smurfs and the Psyches really are," Smurfette said. "I just never thought I'd smurf a Psyche for real because you all smurf like a legend...and for the first Psyche I've ever smurfed, you look almost as handsome as Empath, but you remind me of that human Peewit."
"This one has never seen a human, Smurfette," Polaris responded.
"They're giants that smurf outside our forest, Polaris," Smurfette explained. "You'll get to meet them if you're lucky. But Papa Smurf usually warns us to not smurf beyond the forest and smurf into them ourselves, because some of them are really nasty like this human wizard named Gargamel who created me."
"This one did not know that you were a created being," Polaris said. "This one can see we both have something in common with each other."
"Well, I don't mind if you keep smurfing at me like that," Smurfette said. "After all, what's a girl Smurf going to do about smurfing beautiful around a bunch of boys? Though most of the time, I end up smurfing at the boys and seeing how smurfy they look in just a hat and pants."
"This one hopes you're not expecting this one to parade around in such a manner, Smurfette," Polaris said, feeling embarrassed at the thought.
"Don't worry, Polaris. I won't make you do unsmurfy things just to smurf my attention," Smurfette replied.
Just then, Empath had returned. "This smurf hopes the two of you are not doing things behind this smurf's back that would make this smurf wonder," Empath said playfully.
"Are you jealous, Empath, that I may actually smurf my heart to your friend here, because he's smurftainly so cute and handsome," Smurfette responded in kind.
"Well, it is your first time seeing a real male Psyche, Smurfette," Empath told her.
"This one can assure you, Empath, that our behavior has not crossed the boundaries of intimacy that this one senses you and Smurfette have already crossed," Polaris delcared.
Smurfette looked at Empath strangely. "I hope you haven't smurfed Polaris that we're already smurfing to get married, Empath."
"He already knows that we haven't reached that point yet, Smurfette," Empath replied. "That's not at all what Polaris means."
"Well, just for your information, Polaris, I'm not the kind of girl Smurf who would smurf herself like that to any male Smurf," Smurfette insisted. "Contrary to popular belief, I do have my standards, you know."
"This one has not sensed that you would give yourself so freely to any male Smurf in any intimate manner that would lead to mating," Polaris said. "This one will respect your desire to remain pure and undefiled until the time comes for you to select a mate. Though this one cannot help but sense that you and Empath are both in a relationship that may lead to that particular conclusion."
"All the same, Polaris, whoever I smurf to be my one true love for all time is smurfly my business alone," Smurfette warned. "And if Empath can't smurf into my head to find out which Smurf I want to settle down with, then neither can you."
"This one understands and acknowledges, Smurfette," Polaris said. "This one will not use his mind's eye to invade your privacy or anyone else's in this village."
Empath and Smurfette took Polaris over to where the Smurflings were playing with Baby Smurf. "These are the youngest members of our village, Polaris," Empath said. "The boy Smurflings -- Nat, Snappy, and Slouchy -- came from an island where Smurflings never age, as does Baby Smurf, and Sassette comes from being trapped in a crystal. Smurflings, this is Polaris Psyche from the domain of Psychelia, where this smurf was raised."
"Salutations, fellow Smurflings," Polaris greeted. "This one is honored to meet your acquaintance."
"Are you really a white Smurf, because you surely look like a Smurf?" Sassette asked, curious about the stranger.
"He looks more like a human to me," Slouchy said.
"Yeah, that Peewit who smurfs from that kingdom Sir Johan smurfs from," Snappy added. "I hope you can smurf a tune better than he can, because even Puppy howls whenever he has to smurf him sing."
"You're more than welcome to smurf around with us if you want," Nat offered.
"This one will wait for some other time to accept your offer," Polaris responded to Nat. "This one would want to know your function in the Smurf Village."
"Function?" Nat asked, not sure what Polaris meant.
"We're just a bunch of Smurflings, Polaris," Sassette answered. "We don't really smurf anything but to have fun and to learn whatever the adult Smurfs teach us."
"Sometimes we do smurf into trouble, and Brainy is the first to smurf on our cases for what we smurfed," Snappy mentioned with some disgust.
"Overall, though, we try to smurf out of the way of what the adult Smurfs do, but it's very rare that they want to play with us," Slouchy threw in. "Empath's been like a real friend since he smurfed home. I think he's jealous of the childhood his fellow Smurfs had that he wished he could have smurfed."
"That, and the fact that he's a real fan of Smurfling Pan, and sometimes we even pretend that he is Smurfling Pan with those powers of his," Snappy said.
"You Psyches never really smurf fun where you live?" Sassette asked.
"That is unfortunately the case, fellow Sassette," Polaris answered. "A Psyche's life revolves around education and training in the use of our mind's eye abilities, not to mention performing vital tasks essential to the operation of our domain. None of us experience emotions or engage in recreational activities. It is...a lifestyle that most Psyches find themselves content with and somewhat fulfilling. Empath has shown this one how Smurfs live their lives, and this one has been curious about the Smurfs' way of living ever since."
The Smurflings made a face after they had heard Polaris. "No wonder Empath doesn't want to smurf in Psychelia," Nat said.
"Yeah, all work and no play, and they can't even feel anything," Snappy added.
"That smurfs me glad that I'm not smurfing in that place," Slouchy said. "If it's bad enough smurfing in this village with all the grown-ups here, smurfing in Psychelia would be ten thousand times worse."
"I feel sorry for you having to smurf your life in such a place, Polaris," Sassette consoled. "If you want to smurf some fun with us, you're always welcome to join."
"This one appreciates your concern, Sassette, but this one will have to adapt to the way of life around here first," Polaris said. He then turned his attention toward Baby Smurf, who looked at him with great curiosity. "This one has never seen an infant grown outside of any gestation chamber before, Empath."
"Baby Smurfs do not need gestation chambers, Polaris," Empath said, picking up Baby Smurf and cradling him in his arms. "They're pretty content with being raised among adults who will love them and care for them and even play with them. He's very friendly among those that he meets."
Empath handed Baby Smurf over to Polaris, who then looked at the child he was now cradling. "This one can only imagine that this is what you have looked like when you were born among your Smurf brethren in this village, Empath," Polaris commented.
"White Smurf with peedee star," Baby Smurf said as he looked at Polaris, smiling. He then gave Polaris a kiss on the cheek.
Empath smiled as he saw Baby Smurf gave Polaris a kiss. "This smurf can sense that he likes you as well, Polaris."
Polaris looked at Baby Smurf. "It seems that the both of us have much to learn about each other."

Near the end of the day, Polaris joined Empath at Tapper's Tavern, where most of the Smurfs had gathered to see Dancer show off his new moves while dancing to some tunes playing from Tapper's record machine. Tapper had offered Polaris a mug of sarsaparilla ale, but he flatly refused, stating that he was allergic to sugar, so he instead gave Polaris a glass of seltzer water. Earlier on, Polaris had tasted a smurfberry because he was curious about how it actually tasted. While Polaris did enjoy the taste of it, Empath noticed that Polaris went into a brief spasm after eating it, which made him realize that the Psyche Master had created Psyches with a physical makeup that was different from that of a Smurf. It also made Empath realize that the Psyche Master must have purposely altered the contents of the nutrient paste given to Empath during his meals in Psychelia so that it would include the nutrients of smurfberries, though it still tasted rather bland compared to tasting regular smurfberries.
After Dancer had finished his performance and every Smurf in the tavern had given him applause, Tapper turned his attention toward Empath and his friend. "So how do you like smurfing in the Smurf Village so far in your first day here, my good fellow?" Tapper asked Polaris.
"It is as Empath has shown this one through our communications in Psychelia, with some new things that Empath could not share with this one after his departure," Polaris answered. "However, this one has noticed that the Smurfs are feeling rather ambivalent about having another being like Empath around them, especially one who is as your fellow Hefty calls 'a pale-faced star-smurfed freak'. Apparently there are prejudices in both this one's people and your people that need to be overcome if we are going to living with each other here."
"Aye, I don't think you're going to be escaping that kind of smurfing anytime soon, Polaris," Tapper commented. "But you are after all the first Psyche they've ever smurfed. If there's one person who can set the Smurfs straight about how Psyches really smurf, it's going to be you. Empath can only tell us how Psyches smurf, but apart from his behavior during his first few visits with us in the past smurfs, he is still a Smurf at heart. If anything, your being smurfed away from Psychelia for good is a godsmurf, because I for one am truly curious about how Psyches truly smurf their lives."
"You may come to appreciate your own way of living more after this one has shown you, fellow Tapper," Polaris warned.
"Perhaps I may, Polaris," Tapper admitted. "But you'll never know what effect you may have on your fellow Smurfs if you did. One thing for smurftain is that it will surely smurf the bridge between your world and ours. Maybe Smurfs and Psyches can someday smurf in peace with each other."
"That's an outcome this smurf would love to see in this lifetime," Empath said.
When Tapper turned his attention to another customer, Polaris spoke privately to Empath. "There's something this one never mentioned to you about the bonding ritual, Empath. That day when the bonding took place, this one not only sensed that you were not a Psyche, but this one also felt as if this one was touching the very hand of the Psyche Master himself."
"This smurf did not expect that you would feel that way, Polaris," Empath said.
"In light of the current revelations, Empath, this one would believe that the Psyche Master had allowed for this to happen for the purpose of preserving Psychelia, even if knowing that the Psyche Master is really a Smurf would be throwing the beliefs of the Psyches into chaos," Polaris said.
"This smurf has no intention of leading any people the way the Psyche Master does, Polaris," Empath said. "I would rather be more like Papa Smurf and not worry if people don't worship me because I would lead people through love and friendship, not through power and intimidation."
"This one does not doubt that you would do so, Empath," Polaris said. "This one has sensed that what you have learned in Psychelia about working for the greater good of your fellows has instilled in you the sense that you do not see yourself as deserving to be recognized as anyone greater than your fellow Smurfs, despite your stature among them."
"This smurf admires my fellow Smurfs, Polaris," Empath said. "They are everything this smurf wants to be like. If anyone deserves to be put on a pedestal, that's where I would place them. Even though I envy them for the life they have lived that I didn't, there's nothing I wouldn't do for them."
"And this one would admire you for your honesty, Empath," Polaris said. "Despite the fact that we are of two different races, we will always be bonded as brothers...and as friends. There is no place this one would go in this world without you."
And with that, the both of them touched each other's hands, no longer fearing doing so.