Sometimes, history calls ordinary people to do extraordinary things, to make their mark on the tapestry of time. It requires of them to go beyond what they perceived they were capable of being and doing, to step out of obscurity, forcing them and their talents into the limelight, getting out of their comfort zones. One never knows when it it is his turn, or how he will respond when it happens. Sometimes, the wrong person arrives at the right time.
The history of a small desert town between Oasis Springs and Lucky Palms called Strangerville, turned on one such ordinary young man, a San Myshuno transplant with the big-city tastes to match. If Strangerville were to script its perfect hero, Ezra Uriel Woodley would not fit the bill.
Ezra was the younger of the two sons of Joseph "Big Joe" Woodley, a charismatic assemblyman in the San Myshuno legislature, widely regarded as Mayor Victor Feng's right-hand man. Big Joe had a booming voice and a larger-than-life presence. In his spare time, Big Joe was the senior pastor of the Llama View mega church.
Unlike his father, Ezra was thin and frail, and compared to the tremendously popular shining light that was his older brother, "Lil Joe," or Joseph Woodley Jr., he struggled. He had no friends and kept mostly to himself. There were whispers about his mannerisms. He was 'odd.'
This started to change somewhat when Ezra got to high school, and he became interested in computers and science. He joined his high school's robotics team. He learned how to code. It became clear that he was very, very bright indeed. He could talk a hole in your head and was in possession of a wicked sense of humor. After graduating from high school with honors, he enrolled in Sims University's Institute of Science and Technology (SUIT). And how he wound up in the desert outpost in the first place.
Strangerville was not Ezra's first choice - or even his second. He would have been just as comfortable back home, surrounded by his collection of action figures. A dusty, dry desert with no lights and hardly any rain? Not Ezra's idea of comfort. But for a city boy with expensive tastes from his upper-class upbringing, Ezra proved himself adaptable. He rented a cozy little hamlet in a mobile home park just outside of the town square.
Ezra had advantages few others had. He needed little sleep, so he could spend his days and nights on attempting to solve the mystery that had engulfed the little hamlet. He also had some resources owing to his upper-class upbringing and excellent private school education.
Ezra's job also required him to talk to people. A lot of people. Something he found surprisingly easy to do, since no one from San Myshuno was here. He also had to purchase items from the curio shop, run by one Erwin Pries, who seemed to know everything there was to know about conspiracy theories.
Even hardened military women loosened up in his presence. He may not have been traditionally bulky, but he was wiry and physically strong.
Gonzalo Novak was a scientist who had been working at the facility. "A few weeks ago," Gonzalo told Ezra, "an explosion at the lab caused everything to go haywire."
"What kind of explosion?"
"We're not sure. All we did was try to contain the damage. There are these strange plants everywhere," Novak told him, "and they grow spores, causing sims to be sick."
"Is this just in Strangerville or are other places in danger?"
"If this isn't stopped, other places will be in danger."
Ezra's deadly serious quest did not mean his life was completely joyless. Occasionally other sims he'd have met on his travels would invite him out to eat dinner, usually in Windenburg at its fine eatery owned and operated by the Bjergsen family.
Once, he was invited to eat by a conspiracy theorist called Lorna, and Lorna failed to show. Nonplussed, he walked back to the bus terminal in the rain to take him back to Strangerville.
A more successful dinner occurred three nights later, with Gonzalo, who revealed to Ezra that his father was of Czech descent and his mother was Brazilian - hence his name. He also gave Ezra his keycard to get inside the lab.
Over the next few days, Ezra began putting his considerable skills to work. First, he planted bugging devices on unsuspecting sims, so that he could hear their conversations.
Next, he began spending most of his time at the secret science lab in the crater on the other side of town, attempting to come up with a vaccine with the spores he'd collected.
And since Ezra wasn't too keen on flirting, he didn't take too well to Ted's wife Meredith doing PDA in a public restaurant.
As far as is aware, this was Ezra's only social faux pas.
After successfully testing three sims, he began to make the vaccine for real, spending hours in the lab concocting the medicine. Would it work? Would it eradicate the problem once and for all?
After vaccinating three sims, he then recruited them to help him kill the plant. The first person he recruited was Gonzalo, who of course said yes.
The other members of his team were Roman Laughlin, another scientist, and Lorna - I forgot her last name - the girl who stood him up for his dinner came through for him on this one.
The four of them held a brief strategy meeting in one of the spare lab rooms. Gonzalo was a bit tepid, wanting to approach the monstrous plant with caution. Roman wanted to attack.
Lorna's attitude was, "I just want to be rid of this darn thing!"
Finally, the fight began in earnest as Ezra stared down the overgrown shrub.
He ordered his squad mates to be careful in order to minimize the risk of them getting infected, as they were not wearing hazmat suits.
Ezra himself continued to spray vaccine on the weed to diminish its strength.
After several hours of intense fighting, the freakish flora was no more. Ezra and his team had been victorious.
Being Ezra, though, he couldn't resist taking a selfie.
And he also took a photo with Lorna, the only member of his team who stuck around to celebrate.
When history beckoned, Ezra Woodley responded. What does this young man's future hold after Strangerville?