"A name? Why? Telling you my name won't help you learn about me. The books that would have contained it were never written. The internet was destroyed in the fall. All that data, everything we knew, gone. In one day, actually in one hour to be specific. Even if some piece of information survived, it wouldn't help you. Who I was can't be defined in a name. My titles would tell you more about me than my name. Is it still believed that knowing someone's true name gives you power over them. So much of the lore was lost. So many things I believed nobody even knows about. I don't know if I even actually exist anymore. Am I really here? Or have I finally died? I don't know. The name I would have once used is gone. It will never have anymore power. That name is dead and so is the man who bore it."
"So what should we call you?"
"I don't know."
-Archives from Southdown Base
Seer tensed as he managed to claw his way back up from unconsciousness. He opened his eyes to slits. The lights in the room were low, he could just barely make out his surroundings. However he could see the blankets and bible on the floor, showing where Shepherd had slept that night.
Still Seer did not move. He listened for any sound other then his breathing and the hum of the ship. It took him a few moments but he was finally able to focus on the voices that were coming from outside the room. It was the Captain and Shepherd.
"It's been a day." The Captain sounded agitated.
"Yes Mal it has. And he's been asleep all that time. I was not lying to you when I said he needed to be looked after. If he could live without sleeping he would. God knows he tries. Most likely he hasn't slept in three days. And the days before that he probably has not had more then five hours of sleep in that time. He has to be sedated to sleep. I don't like doing it but it is necessary." Shepherd said.
“I don't know what he saw, he refuses to tell anyone. But it must have been burned into his eyes and I believe that's all he sees when he sleeps.”
There was a long pause before Mal finally said, "Alright. Let me know when he wakes up and feels human enough to talk." Then two sets of footsteps faded to the edge of Seer's hearing.
Seer sat up slowly, trying not to yank at the handcuffed that still secured him to the bed. He failed and hissed in pain as they dug into his wrists. His wrists were poorly wrapped underneath the handcuffs. A bit of red showed through. No doubt he had fought too much in his sleep and caused the damage himself. He finally managed to get comfortable by sitting on the end of the bed with his back against the wall. Seer stared at the door in front of him, willing it to open.
The door opened slowly revealing the girl from before. "I calculated that I could talk to you for 73 seconds before I would start reading your mind."
"Walls?" Seer wondered.
"Someone wasn't very careful when they were playing mad scientist. Or maybe they were too exact. Maybe that's what they were trying to do. I don't know. No walls, no moat, no raging wall of fire, the door's wide open. Door was ripped off."
The girl let out a squeak before running away. There was a shout from the hallway. Shepherd voice came through the door. "River?"
"Big teeth!" was her response.
Shepherd was frowning as he walked into his room. "Seer why are you tormenting that poor girl? You don't even have the excuse of being drunk anymore." He placed a tray filled with food on the night stand.
"I didn't have the excuse of being drunk before, Johnny kept watering down my drinks. He also kept pretending to not hear me when I wanted another shot." Seer held out his hands to Shepherd. "And for the record that is not tormenting. I'm instilling survival instincts in her. I meant what I said. My mind will eat her whole. Like a tasty desert possibly something cream filled."
Shepherd sighed as he removed the handcuffs from Seer. "I need to fix your bandages. You barely stopped flailing around enough that I could even get close to you."
Seer let out a huff but continued to hold out his hands, "I'm not a child. I can bleed where ever I want to."
"Don't you mean you can take care of yourself?" Shepherd asked as he redressed the wounds.
"No." Seer said once the other man was done.
Shepherd placed the tray beside him, “Eat Seer.”
Shepherd sat at the other end of the bed. He waited silently as Seer poked at the food on the tray. He had barely eaten a fourth of the food before he put the tray back on the nightstand and leaned once more against the wall. The room was filled with an uncomfortable silence. Seer had crossed his arms over his chest and was now staring at the ceiling.
"Why did you run away from Southdown?" Shepherd asked.
"I didn't run away I escaped. There's a difference." Seer said. “Escaping requires knockout gas. You should remember this. Actually maybe you shouldn't.”
“We were keeping you safe, or would you rather the Alliance found out about you. That girl, River, the one you keep trying to eat, the Alliance found out about her. She's a Reader. They took away her ability to control it. They made her a weapon, a tool for their use." Shepherd looked at Seer.
When Seer finally looked back at Shepherd, his expression was angry, "And you know why they were able to do that? Because you didn't LISTEN!" He jumped off the bed. He misjudged his footing and ended stumbling over the blankets on the floor. He caught himself on the small desk in the room. He didn't turn around as he spoke, “I told you- but that doesn't matter now does it? You didn't listen to me. None of you did. You have been listening for so long. It figures the one time you didn't worlds would go up in flames. Seems to be a recurring theme. Over and over. I wonder how Bill Murray would have handled this?”
“Seer, to be fair, you are quite hard to understand at times you are-” Shepherd paused.
Seer turned slightly, “Bat shit crazy?”
He left out a small laugh, “Not the exact phrasing I would have used, but yes something along those lines.” They lapsed into silence once more.
Seer was having a hard time standing. Finally he seemed to give up and collapse bonelessly to the floor. “So are you going to lock me in the tower? No not the tower, you don't have a tower. Send me somewhere with a tower. I liked seeing the sky even if the moons are never right.”
“I don't want to lock you up Seer. I want you taken care of. To put it bluntly you look horrible. Not having slept in sixteen days. You look like you haven't eaten in the last week or two. You smell like you have taken a shower in a week as well. Something we need to fix. In fact the only well kept thing about you is your hair.” Shepherd sighed.
Seer rolled his eyes up, “It kept getting in the way. I had to cut it. Besides too much hair, it could crush the brain you know. And I don't have magic Shepherd powers to keep it from crushing my brain.”
“You may want to talk to River about that.” Shepherd smirked.
“73 seconds.” Seer muttered so low that Shepherd did not hear him.
“Just come to Southdown base. You can talk to the Bishop about the tower. I'm sure he'll have a few things to say to you.” Shepherd said.
Seer shrugged, “He always does. But that's okay I've got his number. 867-5309.” He laughed once, “but I lost the area code. Do we still have area codes? Maybe they're planet codes.” His eyes became unfocused just as there was a knock on the door.
“Shepherd?” Mal opened the door. “Oh I see our guest is awake.”
“I prefer guest-age.” Seer mumbled to himself.
Mal knelt down beside Seer cautiously “Did you drug him?” Mal looked sharply at Shepherd after looking at Seer's eyes.
Shepherd shook his head, “I'm afraid this is how he normally is. His moments of lucidity come and go. Unfortunately it's usually worst after he's been asleep. Had you been in here earlier, he made have made more sense. But you can never know with Seer. In some ways he is as damaged as River.”
“Is he a Reader?” Mal asked.
Seer's eyes focused suddenly. He grabbed Mal's arm. “Brown coat weren't you? You still wearing their colors. The armor of a brown coat. Leading man in the battle of Serenity, that's your ship's name isn't it? You failed once on Serenity, but the second time around you won't. This battle, this Serenity, you can control. You can be in charge of. But did you know you could have won the battle? You could have won the war. You wouldn't have lost so many men.” He let go of his arm, “But these kids these days they just don't listen. Listening requires more than ears you know.” He continued to mutter to himself.
“He sounds like a Reader.” Mal stood up, “How did that town accept him?”
Shepherd shrugged, “He most likely had a drink in his hand at all times. They probably thought he was drunk. Although he's good at saving people so maybe that had something to do with it.”
“Right. Well I'm going to go and try to find a none crazy populated part of the ship. As hard as that may be. I advise you to keep him here.” Mal started to leave but turned around at the last second. “And don't let him have any knives.”
Seer laughed, “Knives who need knives, do you know what I could do with a spoon?”