The first thing that Broli noticed upon touching down in Yunzabitto Heights was the cold. A chill wind whipped through the tiered canyons running through the End of the Earth, grasping at the huge Saiyajin's massive form with claws of ice and snow. Adjusting his maroon dress shirt a bit, he considered actually buttoning it so that his chest would be protected by something other than the white shirt beneath, but he decided against it - the cold wasn't harming him.
"Cold up here," Raditsu groused. Broli cast a glance over his shoulder at the younger fighter. It had taken quite a bit of convincing to get Raditsu to come along on this trip, but Broli suspected that the wild-haired man's reluctance wasn't entirely genuine.
"We're much farther north," indicated Kiwi, totally unaffected by the bitter cold. Then again, this WAS Kiwi's home, so he would be used to the chill.
"Right," Raditsu said sourly. "So where the hell is this ruin you're talking about?"
"Come on," the violet alien suggested, adjusting his cerulean cape and turning to stride towards a particularly large cliff. Raditsu followed, his heavy black leather coat barely ruffled by the wind. Shrugging a bit, Broli started along after the two.
It took about five minutes of walking to reach the ruin. At first, Broli could make out only a massive heap of rocks and rubble, but as he looked more closely, he found that he could make out the shapes of snapped-off columns and crumbling walls half-buried beneath debris and fallen snow. However, a large hunk of the structure was sheltered against the wall of a cliff, shielding it from the wind somewhat; there, the architecture was largely intact, with several pillars still standing upright and its walls still whole. Even the roof remained, though it sagged dangerously.
"This is it," Kiwi said, his voice unreasonably quiet - or perhaps not so unreasonably. Broli couldn't help but experience a certain sensation of awe as he stared at the ruin; it was a thing of the past, a relic of a civilization long dead.
"Not very impressive, is it?" Raditsu remarked, offering the ruin a disapproving look.
"Untrue," Broli corrected him as his eyes skimmed over the crumbling building. "They seem to have been very advanced architects - especially given the weathering around here. This temple has endured centuries of this sort of weather. Very impressive."
"It is impressive," Kiwi agreed. "But what we want to see is inside."
"Then lead the way."
With Kiwi in the lead, the trio of warriors stepped into the temple's ruin. As they traversed through what must have once been great hallways and courtyards, Broli couldn't help but gaze in awe at this remnant of the past. For it to have endured for so long was certainly a tribute to its creators - Atlanteans, or so it was said.
As the three stepped into one of the remaining roofed chambers, Broli almost sighed with relief; the wind could not penetrate here.
"Over here," Kiwi said in a voice barely louder than a whisper, indicating the tall support pillar near which he stood. Shifting the rectangular object slung under his shirt, Broli moved towards the column, with Raditsu at his side.
"So where's the symbol?" Raditsu demanded of Kiwi.
Kiwi's eyes skimmed across the pillar for a moment, and he scratched idly at one valve. "Right... there," he said finally, jabbing a purple finger at an unusual glyph resembling nothing more than four crescents and four dots arranged in a vertical formation, with one crescent positioned off to the left. For some reason, the symbol seemed familiar to Broli.
"Amazing," Raditsu breathed. "That IS Banira's tattoo."
"Unfortunately, I have no idea that the tattoo means," Kiwi apologized.
"Don't worry," Broli assured him. "I thought ahead and borrowed Bulma's laptop." He produced the object from under his shirt and opened it, activating the translation program that had been invented by Dr. Briefs.
"Bulma wouldn't let you borrow her laptop," Raditsu protested.
"I didn't tell her I was borrowing it." Without waiting for further imput, Broli programmed the symbol's image into the translator and ran a matching program. The computer found a match with surprising speed. "I think I've nailed it down."
Kiwi and Raditsu were suddenly crowding the much larger Broli with curiosity. "What is it?" was the question posed by both of them at once.
"It's ancient Atlantean in origin," Broli told them, perusing the information provided. "Roughly translated, it means 'Great Warrior.'"
"Run a search on the word 'Lahnus' while you're in there," Raditsu suggested.
Broli did so, and frowned at the results. "Same thing - almost. 'Great Warriors of the Highest Lady.'"
"The tattoo seems familiar," Raditsu muttered.
"That's what I said," Broli agreed. "I've seen it somewhere before."
"So we're definitely facing warriors of some sort," Kiwi stated, rising and walking over to another column. "Ancient Atlantean Etels, if I'm not mistaken."
"What's an Etel?" Raditsu asked, also rising. Broli didn't bother to rise; his mind was racing, trying to figure out where the tattoo had come from.
"An Atlantean word that means 'Warrior'," Kiwi explained. "I gathered that much from listening to Banira talk."
"So we're fighting people who only exist in legend."
Suddenly, it hit Broli right in the face with the force of an insane Zamboni. His mind reeled with the implications... "Vegetasei Palace," he breathed in shock.
Raditsu and Kiwi both fixed him with odd looks.
"I've seen that same tattoo engraved on pillars in the lower levels of Vegetasei Palace," Broli explained, rising slowly. "There used to be troop barracks down there, but they converted them to holding cells when they started to modernize. My cell was one of them."
The two stared at him as realization dawned on them.
Erut Yar, the strongest bodyguard of Kirue Supreme Tal, tore through the chill air of the north, bound for a place long forgotten. The alert had been weak, but it had reached Erut's brain - the alert that indicated an unbranded Atlantean within a temple. And even unbranded Atlanteans were important to a dying race.
Fueled by desperation, Erut blazed onward...