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Marvel: I Have A Super USB Drive

Life's unpredictable, and so was Joe Petersen's death. Divine Destiny as cruel as it is, gave Joe another second chance. The rotation of a golden roulette thrust him further from the world of normality, and into the multiverse of madness. In Marvel, gods, demons, ancient witches, and cosmic aberrations mingled amongst men; survival and safety were a privilege for the strong. How will Joe navigate through this chaotic universe with only a mysterious USB Drive as his lifeline? Join as he evolves, thrives, and spearheads humanity beyond their preconceived boundaries! As Joe finds his own meaning in that absurd world, will ultimate power corrupt his human soul or will he be the one corrupting POWER itself? ... To access 15 chapters ahead and show your support for my writing, check out my Patreon: patreon.com/OneArmedImmortal PS: I have crossposted this on RoyalRoad, Fanfiction.net, and Scribblehub.

OneArmedImmortal · Anime & Comics
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27 Chs

[04] Infinite Possibilities

Queens, New York. 

18th May 2010. 

6.45 PM. 

In front of a modern 10-unit apartment building, a tall young man gazed at the stylish structure with a lost look, mired in nostalgia. Two women his age stood on each of his sides, equally staring up at him with slight pity and complicated emotions. The drizzle had stopped, but the skies remained a bruised grey as if it was only a momentary respite before another mighty shower dropped on the lands of New York City. 

"Will you truly be okay all on your own?" Gwen gently palmed the back of his shaking hand. Her fair hand looked incomparably small compared to his. 

Joe slowly redirected his gaze to the caring blonde. 

"Ain't I a big boy, momma?" Joe mustered a thin smile, the humor failing to reach his eyes.

"But I ain't your momma, boy. I'm your best friend," Gwen briefly chuckled.

'He is really trying to sound brave. What a stubborn mule. I always tell him to rely on me, but he prefers to tackle everything on his own. Look at him, trying his hand at dry humor.' 

The corners of Gwen's lips twitched in exasperation, and she instinctively tightened her hand on his. Noticing her peculiar behavior, she sighed tiredly before loosening her hold. 

"Okay, tough one. I want to be stubborn with you, but I know how hard-headed you are for personal decisions," Gwen spoke, defeat clear in her tone. If it were any other time, she would have battled it out until she got her way. 

"Thanks for being there for me, Gwen," Joe told her with a sincere smile as he gently patted her blond waves. 

"There is no need for that, ya know? Aren't we past that stage, blue eyes?" She couldn't help but playfully poke his arm as she pouted back at him. 

Gwen then tilted her head to the side to better view the redhead on Joe's right. 

"MJ, aren't I right?" She winked at her. 

"Gwen, I am not that close to you." Mary Jane shook her head in severe denial, her unexpected response garnering a peal of laughter from both Joe and Gwen. 

Despite it being one of the saddest moments of his life, the lighthearted moment filled him with hope and lightened up his darkening world. 

'These two will always be awkward with each other, and from the bits of memories that I have gotten, I see they have been like that for quite some time. Their interactions are basic, neither hostile nor overly friendly.'

Joe silently contemplated as the laughter died down. 

"Call me if you need more of my heartwarming hugs, okay?" Gwen looked up at her phone and noticed a considerable amount of time had passed. She saw an unread message from his father, George Stacy. 

[How's Joe boy doing? I feel bad that I didn't have the time to attend my daughter's friend's funeral.] 

[Pass on my condolences. You can also stay ... I approve.] 

The last text made Gwen rethink her decisions again. She immediately tucked the phone back into her pouch, and a calculative glint shone in her eyes. 

"Joe, I think... I would have to disobey your wishes today. You will not be alone tonight." Gwen Stacy stood her ground and leaned forward to inspect Joe's expression. 

Joe sighed heavily at Gwen's change of mind. "Alright then, suit yourself."

He then looked at the attractive MJ, who had been unusually silent since they arrived. 

The Mary Jane beside him was currently in a budding relationship with Peter. However, there was something that Peter didn't know. Mary Jane had once been an FWB with the previous Joe Petersen. So the physical chemistry between Joe and Mary made their current relationship quite complicated, and anything could go awry. 

'That's not good. Peter should be happy with his long-term crush. Although we are essentially the same, I am not the former Joe. I shouldn't escalate my current relationship with MJ beyond friendly hugs.' 

'I need to sort out my present life, which makes romantic relationships nearly obsolete. I have other important things to take care of.' 

"MJ, where is Pete?" Joe casually asked with a forced smile. 

An indiscernible emotion flashed in her round face before she quickly hid it with a stiff smile. 

'She's always been a wonderful actor,' He noted. 

"He was quite vague when he left. He said that Auntie May called him," Mary Jane explained, but she couldn't fully suppress her slight dissatisfaction. It was as if she already knew Peter's lousy reason to be just a smokescreen. 

"Oh." Joe nodded in understanding as he studied Mary Jane's face. 

'It's highly probable that he has already become Spider-man. That's just a guess. I still need more data.' 

'At least I know about Iron Man being a famous philanthropic billionaire playboy.' 

A chilly gust of wind whistled past his skin, and the sting reminded him that they had been standing there for quite some time, even though it was only a few minutes. 

"Let's go inside. I fear that I might catch a cold after my previous soak from the rain," Joe hurried up the five floors of the building's stairs, with the two ladies following behind. His and Veronica's apartment was on the fourth floor. 

A few moments later, he stood before a well-designed wooden door with a key hesitantly aimed at the keyhole. Just one push and he would enter the apartment that she used to live in with him. All it was going to take was a gentle twist of his wrist and he would see the place where he spent most of his childhood. Amidst his hesitance, a warm hand enclosed him.

"There is no need to hesitate. I'll help you." Mary Jane's sweet voice entered his ears before she tugged his hand forward, effortlessly connecting the key to the keyhole. Then she guided him to unlock the door. 

The door silently creaked open. It felt almost dramatic. Still holding his hand, Mary Jane gently pulled Joe into the house. 

Gwen looked at the two joined hands with an awkward expression on her pretty face. 

'Okay, I will allow that only for today. I will pretend I saw nothing.' 

'Me and my jealousy, huh? Joe is a friend, not my boyfriend. Why do I care about who holds his hand? Certainly, it seems I care about people who already have their own boyfriends.' 

Only she knew who she was referring to specifically. 

As if sensing a fiery gaze drilling holes at her, Mary Jane looked behind and met Gwen's "never-touch-my-bestie-you-bitch" look. She immediately removed her hand from Joe's in embarrassment before she focused her attention on the two-bedroom apartment. It was too dark, but Joe was a lifesaver as he soullessly turned the lights on. 

'So this is the place that Joe used to live in. It surely is spacious and has that homey feeling.' Mary Jane's eyes moved from the big living room — that greeted one's eyes the moment they stepped into the apartment — to the kitchen with silver countertops and stainless steel appliances. Her pale green eyes then immediately shifted to the hallway that branched off to two rooms, probably the bedrooms that both Joe and his mom used to use. 

Gwen Stacy had been to the apartment several times compared to Mary Jane. She remembered laughing her ass off at silly jokes cracked by Veronica. Her eyes lingered on the grey couch, and she could visualize Veronica's image as she held onto a glass of red wine. When she was drunk, she would then tell her all the silly but cute stories of Joe as a child. How he feared cucumbers just like a typical cat, how naughty he had been, and how he used to spellbind the little girls and make them cry and fight over him. A small, reminiscent smile formed on her face as two streams of warm tears cascaded down her cheeks. 

'How I miss that crazy young woman, as she liked calling herself despite being middle-aged. She was just like a mother to me. She was my mother.' 

'Am I too sentimental for liking her that much? What wasn't to like about Veronica?'' 

Gwen Stacy strenuously sat on the comfy seat before leaning her head back, her face facing the hard ceiling. Just as Joe had lost a mother, she had similarly lost someone she could confide in — a person she could share virtually everything about herself. 

Gwen lazily turned her head to the side, not caring how she was messing her blond hair. She noticed Joe standing like a statue in the kitchen area, and since she could only make out his back frame, she couldn't decipher what he was thinking. However, that didn't prevent her from knowing how he was currently feeling. A memory of her past self in the same position as Joe surfaced in her mind. It was the memory of when she had lost her mother and younger brother five years ago. The world had been cruel then, and it still didn't falter in its cruelty at the present or, similarly, in the future. 

Joe blankly looked at the oven, at the cupboards, at the utensils, at the gas cooker... He looked at everything in the kitchen. 

Ghosts of his young self and a beautiful woman helping each other in the kitchen began playing out like a paranormal phenomenon. 

Joe swore he could still smell the aroma of his favorite meatloaf and pot roast. He could almost hear her immaculate laughter as his younger self tried to stuff a whole meatloaf into his little mouth. Even without the love and protection of an absent father, Joe had come to see his mother as the strongest person in existence, constantly supporting and guiding him through his growth. 

His eyes once again reddened, but this time round, no tears escaped. Joe inhaled heavily. 

The house still had that floral scent of her mother's perfume lingering in the air. It was soothing and comforting. Joe had an illusion that she was still there, like she never left. 

"Hey ladies, I don't think I will have the energy to prepare something for you. The fridge is all yours. I think I'll tuck in early," Joe told both Gwen and Mary Jane. He was actually mentally exhausted and needed some time alone in his room. 

"You can share mom's room if you wanna sleep."

The ladies nodded in understanding as they watched Joe walk down the hall to his room. When they heard his door closing, they both gazed at each other. 

There was an awkward silence between the two. 

"Wouldn't Peter be worried about you staying in another man's house?" Gwen asked seriously. 

Mary Jane lightly scoffed as she sat in one corner of the couch, leaving ample space between her and Gwen. 

"I don't think he would worry, as he's always busy with this and that. Aren't you here to bar me from making any 'mistakes'?" She gave Gwen a meaningful grin as she made herself comfortable while trying to find the perfect posture. 

'I doubt that you only view Joe as your best friend or something. That's truly laughable, Gwen. Deep inside, you have begun to go astray, whether you like it or not. Joe is a walking temptation. Face that.' 

"You are a naughty girl, after all, MJ." Gwen slowly leaned forward, her smile mirroring Mary Jane's. 

"We are both naughty. I am just more open-minded, while you are the type to be reserved. Behind the guise of a pretty and brilliant woman, Gwen Stacy is a woman who yearns for—" Mary Jane explained slowly, almost dutifully, but Gwen cut her off with a raised hand. 

"I didn't take you to be a poetic one, MJ. Why don't we both acknowledge the fact that we like Joe? For me, it's understandable, but for you, it's not. Don't you have a boyfriend? Isn't that, like, morally bad?" Gwen curiously asked as she innocently arched her thin brows at Mary Jane. 

"You are quite naïve, Gwen. Sometimes, I wonder if you are stupid despite your supposed brilliance." Mary Jane lightly shook her head before rising from the seat. 

"Hey—" Gwen Stacy didn't take that well, as seen by the thick frown covering her face. 

"I am going to cook something warm and maybe have some coffee," Mary Jane said over her shoulder, then gracefully walked to the kitchen. 

Gwen exhaled in exasperation before following her. She wanted to make herself busy lest she began thinking about something unnecessary. 

"There's barely anything to scavenge, Gwen. "Mary Jane said after opening the fridge, only to find vegetables enjoying the cold temperature. 

"What are you waiting for? Let's hit the market. I hope we can find one open in this weather," Gwen said hurriedly, putting on her shoes. 

"Okay, princess," Mary Jane said calmly. 

After informing Joe, both Gwen and Mary Jane left for the supermarket.

***

Inside Joe's room. 

Joe intensely gazed at the posters and wallpapers on the grey-painted walls of his relatively large room. 

There were posters of beautiful models and even pictures of himself. 

This was the room he had been using before he rented a studio apartment near his school, Empire State University (ESU). 

Unlike his previous self, Joe Petersen had been a model for several modeling agencies in this reality. In fact, he was pretty well-known as a rising star in the competitive world of modeling. Depending on the agency, opportunity, and timing, he could even rack up $500 in one photo shoot. Joe didn't have problems making $100 or $80 per hour. It was a well-paying temporary job for a student like him, nonetheless. 

Joe gazed at the gaming PC that he built when he received his very first paycheck. It was silently standing on his desk, beckoning him to sit on the gaming chair. He didn't resist as he also needed to find something from the net. 

The 27-inch QHD+ ASUS monitor came to life when the PC was powered on. The screen brightened up, showing the iconic ASUS symbol. It didn't take long before he logged in to Windows. All this happened in a matter of seconds due to the presence of a 2 TB NVMe Solid State Drive (SSD) internal storage and 32 GB of 3600 MHZ DDR4 memory. Amongst his list of browsers, he ignored both CHROME and EDGE and clicked on BRAVE. It was honestly a surprise for Joe when he realized that the browsers that used to exist on Earth also existed in the Marvel Universe. As for which iteration, he had yet to know, but he was about to investigate. 

THUMP THUMP!

His heart angrily beat against his chest as his fingers hovered over the RGB keys. Joe swallowed his saliva, the sound seemingly loud compared to the silence in the apartment. With a few taps of the keys, he would find a sliver of the truth of his new universe. 

"It's now or never." Joe immediately began to type the names of the Marvel Universe Characters that he knew. He chose characters that were quite well known, be it academically or politically, instead of those with secret identities. You will be surprised by how much people leave their digital footprints behind whenever they enter something on a search engine. Currently, Joe has yet to find an alternative. 

Charles Xavier. The results for Professor X himself said that he was a renowned figure in the academic world. Apart from being a professor at Oxford University, he has written several thought-provoking papers on genetics and its mysteries. After confirming Charles Xavier existed in this universe, Joe began to have doubts. 

"Is this a combination of MCU and X-Men?" 

He searched for Magneto. It seems he was a well-known troublemaker who also happened to be a part-time terrorist. The mutant supremacist was really something. 

"Now I am afraid of the timeline being fucked at any time due to having X-Men characters such as Xavier and Erik alive." 

Joe also found the existence of the Baxter Building, Harlem's Green Menace, and Iron Man, which was quite obvious. He didn't type anything deep or intrusive to alert whoever could be monitoring the current metaverse. In the end, it was just his overly cautious mind and paranoia. To make him more of a random Internet surfer, he entered some porn sites with VPN to make sure if some pornstars existed in this reality. When he saw a famed and multi-talented legendary bald man with his suggestive signature smile, Joe slumped on his chair and began to have an existential discussion with himself. 

If Sins was here, then the Iteration of the Marvel Universe he was in could be a combination of Comics, MCU, and X-Men. Heck, there was even Nvidia and AMD in this universe. 

'Ngreedia is truly stretching its influence through the multiverse theory.'

Joe chuckled to himself as he blankly looked at the ceiling. He began listing his priorities after gaining significant knowledge of his present world. Because knowledge profoundly influences the workings of reality, he needed to acquire knowledge. Knowledge was a source of power. After knowledge, he had to begin improving his economic influence. Joe had to amass funds for his numerous plans to succeed. If possible, he also required connections, which would lead him to gain political influence. 

"I can do it. I need to do it. It's imperative that I do it," Joe muttered a mantra of self-hypnosis. 

Being a hero was not something he wanted. Joe wanted to survive and make himself a giant in the world of power. He wanted his name etched in the annals of history, and that was his ego speaking. No, that was too straightforward and would put him in dangerous situations. He had to be the man in the shadows who controlled everything from behind the scenes. It was about being mysterious in the background while creating a perfect public image. 

"If I don't have the necessary power, I don't think I can help humanity grow."

The comic book universes have survived multiple threats of incursion, existential annihilation, and reality manipulation. Joe felt it would be arrogant to think he could prevent these events just because he was an entitled transmigrator with a bit of meta-knowledge. Faced with Cosmic Entities and Nigh-Omnipotent Multiversal Gods, he was utterly useless, weak, and almost a nonexistent nobody. Sadly, that wasn't a matter of self-degradation but self-awareness, the awareness of a brilliant but tiny being. 

"Even though I lack the overpowered golden fingers that those protagonists usually get the moment they meet a ROB, within my soul, I have the gateway to Infinite impossibilities..." With a thought, a black USB that reflected tiny amounts of light materialized on his palm. 

It was cold to the touch but not unbearable. 

"I feel grateful that it allows me to summon and unsummon it for the sake of secrecy and portability, unlike Chen's version of the Super USB, or should I say... Dimension Key." Joe smiled to himself. 

Before doing anything else, he realized he had forgotten to lock the door. Urgently, he stood up and shut the door to prevent any unforeseen interruption. He then sat back in his gaming chair before carefully inserting the USB into the USB port. 

He clicked on File Explorer with his mouse. When he saw the USB Drive icon showing on the Local Drives listing, his face beamed with slight happiness. He then started a paid Antivirus program to scan the USB before he made any attempts to open it. Joe opened it only after confirming that the USB Drive wasn't compromised. He loved his PC, and viruses were a massive pain in the ass. In his previous life, he had once been forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a Trojan that kept messing up his system. Subconsciously, Joe knew his actions weren't necessary since the product was from a higher existence, but he couldn't help it. 

When he opened the USB and saw the first movie that caught his eye, Joe nearly fell from his chair as a bead of cold sweat rolled down his back. 

"The fuck is 'The Conjuring' doing here?" 

He was once again reminded that the USB Drive could also contain horror movies! 

***

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