Chapter 10


Tracker was at his outpost as usual, observing the skies and the forest for any possible intruders coming toward the village, when he saw something coming from the clouds that was flaming and headed toward the village.  He couldn’t tell just what it was, but it was coming very fast.  Polaris Psyche was there with him, and though he didn’t have the same powerful eyesight that Tracker had, he did sense that this incoming object was an important matter of concern.

“Smurfs!” Tracker shouted. “A fiery comet is smurfing our way!  Smurf safety measures immediately!”

“Please, fellow Smurfs, don’t panic,” Polaris warned loudly.  “This ‘fiery comet’ isn’t a dangerous object, but it is coming towards us.  It will reach the village in a matter of minutes.”

As every Smurf watched, the "fiery comet" that came out of the sky soon turned into a more familiar sight — it was Flyro's spaceship.  It was coming back to the Smurf Village to bring his space travelers safely home.  The spaceship circled its way down toward the open field on the north end of the village and landed itself vertically on the ground.

A crowd gathered around as the hatch opened and Empath, Handy, and Dreamy stepped out.  Most of the equipment that came with their spacesuits was gone, but with the exception of Empath's bruises, the other Smurfs could see that they made it back home unharmed.

Papa Smurf approached the vessel to greet Dreamy and Handy as they left the spaceship, while Smurfette took Empath in her arms and embraced him warmly.  "I didn't think you would smurf back home again, Empath," she told him.

"This smurf shared that same thought as well, Smurfette," Empath responded.  He flinched when Smurfette touched a bruise on his face.

"Oh, my smurfness," Smurfette groaned, seeing how badly Empath's facial injuries were. "I'm going to smurf you to the infirmary to get you all smurfed up and feeling better.  Whatever you smurfed into up there sure smurfed you like Hefty's old punching bag."

"Really, Smurfette, this smurf only looks worse than how this smurf feels," Empath tried to convince her as she took his hand and led him away from the crowd.  "You don't need to...!"

"Empath, don't be such a big baby," Smurfette chided, feeling him tugging at and resisting her.  Somehow, Empath could tell Smurfette was enjoying this moment of wanting him all for herself right now, even if she was acting as the nurse.

“So, Dreamy, how did it feel to finally smurf the stars like you always wanted to?” Papa Smurf asked Dreamy in the meantime.

“You wouldn’t believe what our planet smurfs like from up there, Papa Smurf,” Dreamy answered. “And to be able to smurf around in zero gravity, and to smurf with other beings from distant galaxies.  It was the most exciting time I ever had, even though we never smurfed it to the moon.”

“I am afraid that me and my spaceship cannot stay on this planet for too long,” Flyro interrupted.  “I must go and rejoin my people in the Orion sector of space.”

“Before you go, Flyro,” Dreamy said, “I would like you to smurf this one favor for me.”

“I will do whatever you ask of me, Dreamy,” Flyro promised.

Flyro waited until Dreamy came back from Tailor's shop, carrying a Smurf head symbol flag on a pole.  "Make sure you smurf this on the moon when you smurf up there, please?" he requested.

Flyro grabbed the flag with its metallic claws.  It was a little heavy, but the robot unit carried it with no problem.

“Farewell, my fellow Smurf beings,” Flyro announced as he was at the entrance to his ship.  “You have been a wonderful help.  My people will surely be entertained to know about my encounter with you on this planet.”

The Smurfs gathered around the ship also bade farewell to Flyro as he re-entered the ship carrying Dreamy’s flag.  The entrance hatchway closed, and the ship raised his nose section toward the sky before igniting its engines.  The Smurfs stood back as the engines ignited and they saw the spaceship ascend back into space.

“Come, Handy and Dreamy,” Tapper said as they headed back into the village. “There’s a celebration smurfing for you and Empath in my tavern.  I want to smurf everything that’s happened in your journey to the stars.”

Papa Smurf stayed behind at the landing site with Polaris, watching the other Smurfs follow Tapper, Dreamy, and Handy.  “They were only gone for a day into the stars, and yet the Smurfs celebrate their return as if they have been gone for much longer,” Polaris observed, unsure if he understood what was going on.

“That was no ordinary short trip that they have taken, Polaris,” Papa Smurf responded. “That was a big bold step for a Smurf to take into unsmurfed territory, and a long overdue smurfday wish that finally came true for one Smurf.”


High on a mountaintop, where Dreamy and Tracker had set up an observatory for gazing at the stars, Empath, Smurfette, Dreamy, Handy, and Tracker took turns looking through the large telescope at the moon, where they saw the spot Flyro had planted a Smurf flag on.  They were truly astounded by the fact that a marker acknowledging the Smurfs' existence was placed somewhere beyond their reach and yet was always there to see on a clear night.

"Empath, do you think that anyone else years from now will smurf on the moon and smurf that flag being smurfed up there and wonder who had smurfed up there before them?" Smurfette asked.

"This smurf personally doesn't know, Smurfette," Empath answered. "If anything, this smurf will predict that the humans will reach the moon before the next millennium begins.  Orbit, however, thinks that a new Smurf Village will be established up there by the year 2000."

Handy whistled.  "That's Orbit for you...he always smurfs too far off for anybody.  I'm not sure that any Smurf would live to smurf the year 2000, except maybe for Baby Smurf."

"There's always hope for the next generation of Smurfs, Handy," Empath reminded him. "Just because we may never live to see that year doesn't mean we can't possibly plan or dream for such an occasion.  It may be the most wondrous year in the history of all Smurfkind."

"Anyway, Dreamy, I'm happy to see you finally have your smurfday wish come true," Smurfette said heartfully as she planted a kiss on Dreamy's cheek.

Empath saw Smurfette kiss Dreamy's cheek but said nothing about it.  He knew Smurfette still cared for her fellow Smurfs, even though she no longer has the same kind of love for them as she did before Empath came home for good.  They were still her friends.  Empath was her best friend.

"Gee, thanks, Smurfette," Dreamy responded, smiling. “I truly do feel like an Astro Smurf now.”


Empath's personal journal, August 17.

We have made our first and perhaps only journey into outer space with the alien spacecraft piloted by Flyro, but it has been the most monumental occasion that made Dreamy a hero, a true Astro Smurf in the eyes of every Smurf.  It wasn't quite the journey that Dreamy, Handy, or this smurf had expected, however. We have made contact with an alien race that was bent on capturing and controlling beings like us, a warrior race that most likely would have made this Smurf's fellow Smurfs into their personal slaves.  However, with Flyro's help, we have prevented a possible invasion from happening and destroyed the Schliphargon mothership in the process.  This smurf hopes with some mixed feelings that the Schliphargons have all abandoned ship before its power core had fully detonated.  And this smurf hopes that Flyro will be able to return to his homeworld, wherever it is out in the universe.

Of course, with Dreamy now feeling a whole lot better about himself, knowing that his smurfday wish had finally been made to come true, this smurf could sense that a bit of appropriate closure is needed for him to move onward with his own life.


Dreamy went back inside the Imaginarium fantasy environment of the Swoof Village, meeting again with Grandpa Swoof.  He wasn't dressed up in anything other than his own Smurf clothes, but apparently Grandpa Swoof didn't notice.  Empath stood inside the fantasy environment a short distance away, while Dreamy and Grandpa Swoof had their heart-to-heart talk with each other, sitting on Grandpa Swoof’s throne in front of a campfire.  The other Swoofs present paid no attention to Empath's presence.

"There swoofthing bothering you, Astro Smurf?" Grandpa Swoof asked, seeing that Dreamy had something on his mind that he meant to tell him.

"Yes, there is, Grandpa Swoof," Dreamy answered sincerely. "I once thought that when I smurfed you folks years ago, I believed that all beings from other worlds would smurf out to be just as friendly as you Swoofs are, no matter how strange your way of smurfing is.  But in my travels to other worlds besmurfs this, I have found alien beings that smurf others only for their own smurfonal ends.  They would not care how friendly we Smurfs are or how you Swoofs are, they would just capture whoever they felt was the most smurfful for their purposes."

"But we Swoofs are strong, Astro Smurf," Grandpa Swoof insisted. "We have swoofed here on this world longer than they will, and we will swoof long afterward.  We will swoof beside you to make sure we will not fall to these other beings you enswoofered."

"No, Grandpa Swoof," Dreamy objected. "I would only endanger you Swoofs by smurfing here.  I must go and smurf these beings out there to make sure they don't smurf beings like you.  They have weapons that are more dangerous than anything you can smurf up in the here and now.  You won't be able to smurf long against them if you choose to smurf against them.  Perhaps someday, when you Swoofs can smurf up your own spaceships, you can protect yoursmurfs better against such beings from other worlds.  But not right now, which is why I must forever leave this world."

Grandpa Swoof stroked his beard as looked at the campfire, trying to comprehend Dreamy's words. He looked very much like Papa Smurf contemplating on what to do.  Then he made a decision.

"If you feel you must leave the planet of Swoofs to protect us, then go forth.  We are unable to stop you from swoofing so.  But remember that wherever you swoof out beyond our world, the Swoofs will always remember our first Smurf visitor in our hearts, the brave little Astro Smurf who wanted so much to live like a Swoof.  Remember us and guard us well!"

Dreamy nodded, acknowledging.  "I will not ever forget you, Grandpa Swoof."

Empath watched as Dreamy and Grandpa Swoof hugged each other and said their goodbyes.  To him, it seemed that Dreamy's Imaginarium fantasy character showed as much honest emotion over Dreamy leaving this fantasy world behind as Papa Smurf had showed for Empath always leaving the Smurf Village to go back to Psychelia from his visits.

Dreamy then joined Empath and they walked away from the Swoof Village.  Soon the fantasy environment had disappeared altogether, bringing them back into the meeting house in reality.

"Somehow smurfing him goodbye felt like the hardest thing to smurf, Empath," Dreamy told his friend.  "I know he wasn't real, and yet there was just smurfthing about him that made me believe he was a real alien on another world."

"You imagined the Swoofs to be nothing more than what Papa Smurf intended them to be, Dreamy," Empath noted. "You imagined them so well to be so real, this smurf can understand why it must have been hard for you to let them go like that.  At the very least, you chose the way you would have wanted to say the last goodbye to them, rather than simply allowed another Smurf to crudely interrupt your fantasy by unveiling the reality behind it before your eyes."

"I just wish that I could smurf up into the stars again and meet some real aliens that are more like Swoofs than like Schliphargons, Empath," Dreamy said wistfully.

"This smurf shares that same sentiment, Dreamy," Empath nodded in agreement.  They both walked out of the meeting house and headed over to where the S.S. Smurf II was drydocked.  "Let's go see how the maintenance on the other vessel has been coming along.  This smurf would very much want to take this smurf's first journey out onto the open sea with you at the helm once it is ready for sailing."

"Sounds smurfy to me, Empath," Dreamy answered. "Let's go smurf what's out there!"