". . . Understand, Trunks?"
"Everything but the part about the Star Seeds."
Usagi shifted, looking a bit uncomfortable. She still wore the white tanktop she'd had on the night before, but she had traded in the dress for a pair of jeans that she'd had to roll up the legs on so that she wouldn't trip over them. The pale, almost white skin on her arms was completely devoid of all the bruises and burns he knew he had seen last night. Even her ankle seemed better, as improbable as that seemed.
Large blue eyes glanced up to briefly meet his. She had a long way to look up. When he'd requested the explanation she owed him, he'd been leaning against the wall. She'd immediately taken a seat on the floor. She'd been short before, shorter than even his father and perhaps even Kulilyn. It showed a great deal of trust. Those eyes seemed now to be pleading with him to understand what she was having so much difficulty explaining.
"Star Seeds are. . ." Here she paused, biting her lip in concentration. "I suppose the best way to put it would be the crystallized essences of a person's soul. Without that soul, the person would become a raving monster. That's how . . . Ami explained it to me."
Even just saying her friend's name appeared to hurt her. He could remember feeling the same way when his mentor, Son Gohan, died. But, some cool voice of logic echoed in the back of his mind, you didn't watch Gohan-san die. He spared you that, remember? And there was never the threat of him coming back as a Jinzouningen. He'd realized early on that the Jinzouningen of this world were these Animates. Just like the Jinzouningen, they had once been real people. They'd been Usagi's friends, three of them anyway.
"Do you understand everything now, Trunks?" Her voice was clear, though it did shake a little.
He nodded then realized all her attention was focused on her own lap. She was completely still except for the tears sliding down her face. Something inside him twisted sharply at the sight. He knelt down next to her, making no fast movements. "Hai, I understand, Usagi."
The white cat had been laying silently in the far corner. Finally it spoke again. "We lost everyone in one day: all the Senshi, Kakyuu-Hime, ChibiChibi-chan, and Usagi's guardian Luna."
Usagi's eyes hardened as she turned to stare at Artemis. "Luna's not dead, Artemis. Healer has her." She swung her head back to face Trunks, a fierce and unshakeable determinism in her eyes. "With the way of fighting we had used, we didn't stand a chance. It was impossible that we wouldn't lose. We never found our Light of Hope, and it cost us everything. Now I'm the only Senshi left, and I won't surrender this world I was charged to protect. I need a new way of fighting to defeat Galaxia and the Animates."
He nodded faintly. "That I can help you with."