It was a crime of opportunity, plain and simple.
The day I met Ulysses, I presented myself as his first and best friend on Zala. I told him everything he wanted to hear. He was disoriented, that was clear enough, suddenly found himself lost on an alien world. It was easy pickings.
The truth was that Reeve had paid me to befriend him. Before anyone else, as with everything else, how he ended up in control of Zala to begin with, Reeve knew exactly who Ulysses was from the very start. The fly in the ointment, as it were. The only thing he didn't see was what I saw in Ulysses' eyes from the start. Incredulity. He didn't believe me for a minute.
Oh, he let me believe he did, but he didn't. He was a clever little human, all right. I'd never been to Earth. I don't even know what I got wrong. Of course he did. I've been to hundreds of worlds. Most of them are mind-numbingly similar. You start to see the patterns the minute you disembark. Or maybe I just got cocky. I grew up on one of the worst worlds imaginable, the wretched Lessing. No advantages at all, in the greater scheme. Except I was the son of royalty, discarded easily but treasured by all those who knew, who only wanted to curry favor, in the glorious days ahead. And wouldn't you know it? Dear old dad was Reeve. If I'd only known how pathetic his story was. But you never do. You never bother with the details of backstory until too late. You never bother to find out.
Until you do. The thing Ulysses had that nobody else did was that he did care. Whatever his story is, he always seemed to know. And so of course he saw right through me, because he knew, he saw through the cracks, no matter how large or small. He was my opposite number. Imagine that. Only one half over truly understands such relationships. Figures. And it wasn't me.
So my crime was that I blundered into introducing Ulysses to everything he would need to undo everything Reeve had accomplished, everything I thought I had accomplished. But of course it amounted to nothing, so much nonsense that I'd been telling myself, as it turns out.
Well, I feel like an idiot. Fortunately everything fell apart for him, too.
"But this is not the story," says Kindly.