Wilbur was a short little guy with freckles, a long nose and large ears. His appearance already made him a target for cruel jokes. But it was his shyness around girls and general meekness which made him a laughing stock among the pilots of his era. When the scientists discovered a cosmic cloud emitting an unknown form of radiation, they needed a pilot to reach it and analyze it. However they could provide the spacecraft tasked with the mission with just enough oxygen and fuels to reach the cloud, not to make a return journey. Making it a suicide mission. The drive for volunteers seemed to be a failure. Available pilots claimed various responsibilities towards their own families to avoid the task. Most were having too much of a ball with life to give it up. Lonely and desperate, Weems took the mission.
The other servicemen were glad to see Wilbur depart, him being "the only guy who won't be missed by anyone". Weems reached the cloud only to find himself mutating to a much more handsome and muscular version of himself. In addition he felt confident able to "live forever". He soon joined a group of human-looking immortals, living in a a planet nearby. They had advanced technology but had a Greco-Roman style of dress. They had reportedly created the cloud to attract the bravest Earthlings to them, recruiting the most worthy for life in "their journey's end".
The exact nature of Weems and the other immortals was not clarified.