The USB Hero
USBs are asymmetrical. They are essentially a rectangular box with 2 holes punched through the widest parts. On one side, the holes are plugged up. On the other side they are not. For laptops, the rule of thumb is that the plugged holes are on the bottom. For desktops, the plugged holes point towards the motherboard, which would be the bottom of the case when tilted on it's side such that you can see all the parts (i.e. the motherboard is on the bottom).
I paused for a second and looked around the conference table where everyone listened in hushed silence. All I knew was that I was in front of the League of Super Extraordinary Radical Someones (The LoSERS), the world's mightiest heroes -- people so strong they could destroy planets on a whim. In fact some of them had already done exactly that. If I'm honest, I couldn't quite make out any of their faces over the glare of the overhead projector, which was showing a helpful diagram I had created to explain my previous point.
I began to fidget a bit before a somewhat melodic voice broke the silence, saying, "So, theoretically, you can plug in any USB on your first attempt?"
Even in the darkness, I recognized who it was immediately: Dr. D.N.AI. The famous super villain turned hero after his own nanobots reprogrammed his brain. He was known to be the most intelligent man alive and single-handedly brought about and destroyed the AI apocalypse of 2025.
"Uh, yeah. I mean, it's not hard. Just point the holes up and plug it in--"
"I don't believe it." I was interrupted by the voice of an older woman. It must have been The Oracle, an individual with precognitive abilities -- capable of seeing into the future with exact precision. She was never wrong. She continued, "Even with my foresight, I cannot see any possibility of this man achieving such a feat."
Baffled, I began to stutter a bit, "L-L-Look, I-I-I'm not lying to you. I know you can see the future and all, but..."
"AHAHAHA" I was again interrupted. This time by a mighty laughter, "No one is saying you are lying, shonen!" It was The Incredibly Mighty Man of Yesteryear (TIMMY for short). A man who was so powerful that he ushered in a new era of world peace the moment he was born. He continued with a deep, demanding voice, "I think you just need a test, shonen. The Oracle is a human. She can be wrong!"
The Oracle sniffed in contempt, "That would be unprecedented, The Incredibly Mighty Man of Yesteryear. I have never been wrong before."
Dr. D.N.AI chimed in again, motioning his hand in my direction, "This man knows it is a crime to lie to the League of Super Extraordinary Radical Someones." He then looked to me, "You do know that, don't you?"
I stumbled over my words again, "Of course! This is basic I.T., I wouldn't--"
"BASIC .I.T?" Dr. D.N.AI slammed his hands on the table, creating an electric shock wave that destroyed the projector in the process, leaving the room completely dark. "Do you know how many wars were started because of the USB protocol? How many lives could have been saved if only it were possible to plug USBs in on the first try? Do you know the suffering suffering USBs have caused me and my FAMILY!" Enraged, the electricity now coursed through his veins, illuminating his spandex lab coat. It was then that I noticed his forearms were completely covered by female USB hubs, many of which were broken beyond repair.
"Wait, sir--" I tried to explain myself before being interrupted yet again.
"Dr. D.N.AI! That is enough!" TIMMY flipped the switch on the door, causing everyone to groan as their eyes adjusted. "We said we would test the boy. Let's do it."
As I looked around the room, I saw several other LoSERS studying me closely. They seemed tense. No one moved a muscle until The Oracle spoke up, "I had foreseen this occasion and have prepared 1000s of different devices in the auditorium. Please, go ahead and show us your power." She smirked a bit before continuing, "I also called an audience in the case you did, in fact, lie to us..."
TIMMY the looked to me and said, "Don't worry, I believe in you shonen!" He then grabbed me in his arms and plowed through every building in his way towards the auditorium. The other LoSERS followed through the rubble.
The auditorium was huge, capable of seating thousands, but it was only used for the most important discussions -- those pertaining to the very fate of mankind. The rafter lights were on and pointed directly at me, obscuring the audience from view. I found myself with a single USB stick in-hand, staring down every single device mankind had created that could accept USB. The Oracle did not glance in my direction, but instead walked to the front row and sat down. Her eyes glowed a deep blue while her mind was preoccupied with other things. TIMMY took a knee and patted me on my shoulder, giving me comforting words, before sitting next to The Oracle. He gave me a thumbs-up and a nod.
Finally, Dr. D.N.AI took to the stage and turned his nanobots into a microphone. "Ladies and Gentlemen! We apologize for the short notice, but this individual on stage claims to be able to do the impossible: plug a USB into a computer on the first try every time!" I heard loud murmurs in the audience, so I shielded my eyes from the light and looked out to see who was there. Every seat was filled. I could only recognize a few faces, but it appeared that they were all important diplomat.
Dr. D.N.AI continued, "I feel the importance of such a power is immediately understood by everyone in the audience today, so I will not keep you waiting." He then bowed slightly to the crowed before turning to me and saying, "Good luck." He then sat next to TIMMY.
Honestly, I was completely frozen. What on Earth had just happened? All I have to do is plug in the USB, right? After all the fuss, I began to doubt myself. This is easy, right? Am I overestimating myself? I looked to the first row, where TIMMY ushered me along proudly.
No. What was I thinking? It's just a USB, like any other. I awkwardly shuffled towards the pile of technology and pulled out an old Gateway laptop. I lifted it up so the crowd could see and plugged in the USB. As I did so, I saw TIMMY's mouth widen into a smile. The Oracle's eyes stopped glowing and the color drained from her face as she looked to me. Dr. D.N.AI furrowed his brows, studying me.
I wasn't one for showmanship, but I took a bunch of computers and lined them all up along the stage. I don't know how many there were, but it was as many as I could manage to move at the time. I then took the USB and quickly plugged it in and pulled it out of each one of them. When I looked back to the crowed, all three heroes in the front row had their mouth agape, in awe of what they just saw. Suddenly, the crowd erupted in applause. I thought I saw the president of the United States tearing up a little.
Then came a thunderous voice, "SHOOONEEEEN!" TIMMY somehow appeared next to me, his arm rested across my back. He then addressed the crowd, "This boy will be joining the LoSERS, effective immediately! There will be no further questions!"
To be honest, I had questions. A lot of questions. I promise to answer them soon enough. This is the story of how I became the greatest superhero the world has ever known!
[To be continued...] (probably not, though)
Prompt: You interview for a team of superheroes, but your only superhuman ability is plugging in a USB device the right way every time.