Hels!Impulse taking regular impulses place n stuffing him in like a closet or somethin-
N someone who's sus of him (maybe iskall?) Finds the real impulse.
Now to unmask the fake.
okay so a few quick things:
1) this ended up a LOT longer than i expected lol so i apologise for that, it’s over 2k words
2) i also didn’t entirely stick to every detail in the prompt because i had an idea i rly liked and i wanted to roll with it, so i’m rly sorry if it’s not as good as you were expecting
3) anyway i hope it’s good! it was a lot of fun to work on
Impulse is working on the redstone of his pumpkin and melon farm in his base when he spots a shadow moving around right at the corner of his vision. Frowning, he leaves his task and heads out into the main part of the base, looking around. “Hello?” he calls cautiously. “Grian, if this is you again…”
He gets no response.
Just as he starts to turn back, thinking he just imagined it, something slams into him and knocks him into the wall, stunning him. He looks sharply up to find…
Impulse’s eyes widen. “Wh-Who are you?!”
The new Impulse has his arms crossed and a malicious grin on his face. “My name is Impulstor. I’m your Hels counterpart. And I’m going to take over your life as my own.”
Before Impulse can move, Impulstor seizes his lapels and drags him across the base. Impulse struggles as hard as he can but he’s still winded from being hit against the wall.
Impulstor takes him to one of the support pillars at the very edge of the base, which has a two by one block hole in it, left over from Grian’s secret base shenanigans a few weeks ago. Weakened, he’s unable to stop Impulstor from shoving him roughly through the gap.
Since the floor is a block lower than the bottom of the hole, Impulse’s foot slips and he falls heavily against the wall, hitting his head and stunning him even more. The space inside the pillar is only one block by one block, with two or three more blocks of space above his head, so as Impulse collapses, he’s forced into an uncomfortable sitting position.
Blinking back tears of pain and fear, Impulse tries sluggishly to escape but Impulstor bashes him on the head with his own pickaxe.
The last thing Impulse sees before he passes out is Impulstor blocking the gap with white concrete, trapping him in this prison.
Zedaph flies over the shopping district and lands a little way off from Impulse and Tango, who are sitting on one of the benches outside town hall, chatting. As he approaches, the two look up and spot him. “Hey, Zed!” Tango calls, beaming. “Wanna join me and Impy hanging out?”
“Yeah, sure! What do you have in mind?”
“Well, I thought we might go give Decked Out a group run,” Tango says. “I’d have to fix things up a little bit but that shouldn’t take more than ten minutes. I think it’d be epic to go in as a team.”
“Ooh, yeah!” Impulse grins. “I always loved that game. It terrifies me, but I loved it. Those ravagers, man. I’m always on the lookout for them and it’s terrifying with the heartbeat and everything.”
“That was the idea,” snickers Tango.
“I know, I know. Doesn’t make it any less terrifying, though.” Impulse grins. “Going in as a group would be great! I’d really like to do that.”
Zedaph involuntarily takes a step back. He doesn’t know what, but there’s something off about Impulse today. There’s something different, something he can’t quite put his finger on. He’s known Impulse a long time, but not as long as Tango, who doesn’t seem to share his doubts. Is he misreading the situation?
“Yeah, me too!” Tango enthuses. “You up for it, Zed?”
“Um, actually…” Zedaph forces a convincing cough and rubs his stomach. “I feel kinda sick all of a sudden. I think the flight over here churned my insides.”
“Oh.” Tango frowns sympathetically. “You’d better rest, then.”
“Yeah, sorry. I need to go home.”
“No problem, man. Hope you feel better.”
Zedaph slowly walks away, keeping up his charade in case the others are watching. Over his shoulder, he hears Impulse say something about his ice farm, then a few seconds later, the sound of rockets are heard as the two take off with their elytras.
He keeps going for about a minute longer, just in case, before deeming it safe and taking off with his rockets. His heart pounding, he shoots over to Impulse’s base and after crashing through the water curtain, lands neatly on the ground inside. “Impulse?” Zedaph calls, starting to rush through the pyramid base. “Impulse, are you here?”
Zedaph’s voice awakens Impulse. Blinking against the throbbing in his head, he bashes his fist against the wall of the pillar as hard as he can. “Ze-Zedaph! ZED!”
Following the sound of Impulse’s voice, Zedaph locates the pillar and slices a hole in it with his pickaxe.
To his horror, he finds Impulse squeezed inside the narrow gap, blood still dripping from the wound in his head.
“Oh my god…!”
Zedaph drags Impulse out of the pillar and lets him lie flat on the ground for a moment while he tends to his wound. Impulse doesn’t even have the strength to wince at the stinging of antiseptic.
“Are you okay?” asks Zedaph quietly. “How long have you been stuck in there?”
“A-A few hours at most, I don’t really know. What’s going on?”
“Well, fake you is cosying up to Tango. I don’t think Tango suspects anything.”
Impulse swallows back a pang of hurt. “Oh… I-I thought he knew me better than that…”
“To be fair, whoever’s masquerading as you is really, really good,” says Zedaph slowly. “I hate to say this, but even I barely noticed.”
“Really? What made you catch on?”
Zedaph hesitates. “It was more of a gut feeling than solid evidence. I dunno, there was just something about the way he talked that seemed off. It didn’t seem like you. I thought either there was something wrong with you or it wasn’t you at all.”
“And you came to the conclusion that an imposter posing as me was more likely than me having an off day?” chuckles Impulse weakly.
Zedaph matches his chuckle as he starts to wind a bandage around Impulse’s head. “Again, it was just a gut feeling.”
“Well, your gut feeling was right. Now what do we do about Impulstor?”
Zedaph immediately bursts out a laugh. “Impulstor!”
Impulse gives him a look.
Zedaph clears his throat awkwardly. “S-Sorry. Anyway, we should go and save Tango from, uh… Impulstor.”
“Shouldn’t that be easy?” remarks Impulse. “I mean, I’M me. He’s not.”
“Man, you didn’t see the way he was with Tango. He has to be some kind of clone of you or something; there’s no way he’s just a guy who’s studied the way you behave. It’s not about us not knowing you well enough; it’s him knowing every mannerism, every quirk, every facial tick. If it wasn’t for my random gut feeling, I doubt we’d have noticed for a really long time.”
Impulse’s worry increases. If Tango, someone he’s known for over a decade, couldn’t even tell the difference between him and the imposter, his clone could have the whole server fooled within hours.
“We have to get to him away from the other hermits,” Impulse says. “The longer this goes on, the harder it’ll be to convince them I’m the real Impulse. What were him and Tango doing when you left?”
“I think they were taking a look at your ice farm,” responds Zedaph.
Impulse shoots bolt upright. “Oh no! I spent ages getting that farm the exact way I wanted; he better not ruin anything!”
Zedaph grips him by the shoulders. “Hey, easy, man. You might have a concussion.”
“I don’t care! Tango is in real danger and so is everything I’ve ever built! I’m going over to my ice farm right now and you can’t stop me.”
Zedaph hesitates. He knows his friend well enough to know that he really can’t stop him. “Okay, then. I’ll come with you.”
“-really like this pattern,” Tango is saying, looking down at the floor underneath the ice farm. “How’d you think of it?”
“Oh, it just came to me,” says Impulstor. “Took me a while to turn all the powder to concrete.”
“I bet. Nice farm, dude!”
Impulstor watches Tango move over to the side of the farm and look down. Tango clearly suspects nothing; if he has any doubts, he’s doing an amazing job hiding them. But Impulstor isn’t worried. From his (no, not his. Impulse’s) memories of Tango, he should be fairly easy to take down if the need arises.
But what he doesn’t anticipate is his ruse falling apart so soon.
Tango jerks and snaps his head upwards to find two figures flying towards him. He blinks in shock; one of them is clearly Zedaph but the other… It can’t be…
Impulstor lets out a very quiet growl, before rearranging his face into an expression of shock. “Wait a sec…”
Impulse nearly falls over in his haste as he lands, him and Zedaph getting between Tango and Impulstor.
“What the hell is going on?!” Tango demands. “Why are there two Impulses?!”
“He’s an imposter,” declares Impulse, jabbing a finger at Impulstor. “He’s a fake Impulse.”
“No, HE’s the fake!” Impulstor snaps back. “I don’t know what’s going on here but I’m the real Impulse!”
“Oh god, this is my worst nightmare,” Tango groans. “How are we supposed to know who the real one is?”
“Look, ask me anything,” says Impulse. “I’ll answer any question you ask.”
“What was your first build when you joined Hermitcraft?” Zedaph asks.
“The witch huts in season three,” say both Impulse and Impulstor at the same time, causing the former to stare at the latter in shock.
“Who did you team up with to do the pirate ship prank in season six?” Tango asks slowly.
“Ren and Doc,” both Impulses say, again at the same time.
“What did you call your season five base?” Zedaph says.
Again, the answer comes simultaneously from both Impulse and Impulstor: “Atlantis.”
“Okay, stop, stop.” Tango waves his hands. “This is going nowhere. I don’t know HOW you two have the exact same memory but clearly, we’re not gonna make any progress this way.”
“Hey, Impulse.” Zedaph turns pointedly to the real Impulse. “How did you get that scar on your thigh?”
“From an arrow wound during the season six civil war,” Impulse and Impulstor reply.
A split second later, Impulse realises what his friend is doing. He lifts his shorts leg just enough for the small scar to become visible. “This one.”
The other three turn to Impulstor, who realises he’s in trouble here. He may have Impulse’s memories but they don’t share a body. Impulstor remembers the exact moment Impulse got that injury but he wasn’t actually there. He didn’t live it; Impulse did.
“Impulse, if you’re the real one, show us the scar,” Tango says sternly.
Impulstor hesitates, his slightly narrowed eyes flickering from Tango to Impulse.
Suddenly, Impulstor takes off running, deliberately slamming into Tango as he does. Tango tumbles to the ground and slides right over the edge of the farm with a terrified yell.
Luckily, Zedaph reacts quickly and grabs his friend’s wrist. This stops Tango from falling long enough for Impulse to take hold of his friend’s other hand, and the two pull Tango back to safety.
“Oh my gosh, are you okay?!” gasps Impulse. “You almost went over!”
Breathing heavily, Tango starts to speak but cuts himself off as he finally registers the bandage around Impulse’s head. “I-Impulse, did he hurt you?”
“What?” Impulse frowns, before remembering his head injury, which is already mostly healed. “Oh, yeah. He ambushed me in my base and knocked me out and stuffed me in the hollow space in one of my pillars for like five hours or so.”
“Oh my god…” Tango squeezes his eyes shut. “I-I’m so sorry…”
“Wh-What?” Impulse stares at him. What for?”
“For not realising he wasn’t you. I should have seen it; I can’t believe I was so blind.”
Impulse blinks. “Oh, Tango, no. Please, please don’t feel guilty. It’s not your fault at all.”
“But…” Tango’s eyes glisten with tears. “I… I’ve known you for at least ten years. Surely I…”
“No,” says Impulse firmly. “Don’t blame yourself, Tango. Impulstor is… He’s me. Essentially.”
“What do you mean, Impusle?” asks Zedaph quietly.
Impulse hesitates. “Impulstor is my Hels counterpart. He looks like me, talks like me, he has all my memories. Tango, nobody can really blame you for not noticing. Dude, I know I’m the real Impulse and even I did a double take. You know I’m not observant at all but that was taking it to a whole new level.”
Tango gives a quiet laugh. “Yeah, you’re really not super observant. But still…”
“And hey, at least we now have a fairly easy way to tell us apart,” Impulse adds. “He won’t be able to fool you two again. But the rest of the server needs to be warned and briefed on how to tell us apart. Will you help me do that, both of you?”
“Of course I will,” says Zedaph immediately, putting his arm over Impulse’s shoulders. “We’re a team.”
Tango meets Impulse’s gaze.
Finally, he says, “I always knew you’d have an evil twin but I didn’t expect him to be LESS annoying than you.”
“Hey,” complains Impulse mildly. “Give me some credit for not trying to murder you.”
Tango laughs and grabs his friend in a hug. “Don’t worry, you’re still my favourite Impulse.”
Impulse hugs him back. “Good. Now, let’s find Xisuma and warn him about Impulstor.”
Tango pulls sharply away from Impulse and stares at him. “Wait… Is that his NAME? Impulse plus imposter?”
“Uh huh. Trust me, I didn’t choose it.”
His friend bursts out laughing. “That’s GREAT! Oh my god. That sounds like something Zed would come up with.”
“I know, right!” Zedaph laughs.
Impulse can’t help a laugh too. The tension and fear that’s been controlling him for the last few hours has mostly melted away now that his best friends are safe. Impulstor might still be out there but with a little luck, he won’t be able to fool the rest of the server the way he fooled Tango. He’s sure he’ll see Impulstor again, though.
But the real question is: how soon?