Afraid, the elders of the villagers vowed to stay with the statures deeming them gods. Eza Clayman, an inspector with the Galactic Security Force, materialized along the edge of a field, watching the scene unfold.
He waited. Predictably, the natives settled down for the night, and Clayman made his way to the statues of being careful not to wake anyone. It would be difficult to explain what he was doing here and harder yet to explain to the people that someone stole the statues they now worshiped from a nearby planet. As a non-technological person, the Primary Protectorate Act prevented contact.
He inspected the stone artifacts and confirmed that they were the lost statues stolen from Allma. He contacted his ship to send a cargo carrier to begin loading the figures. As the tractor beam latched onto the last statue, an elder woke up and, seeing Clayman began to scream. His translator quickly interpreted what the native said. He had called him a god. That was unfortunate.
He attempted to calm the native down. But it only made him angry. He pulled his photon pistol set to stun and was about to quiet the elder when he heard a voice behind him. It was Lakeman, his green-skinned quarry. The elder fainted at the sight of the new creature who had materialized out of nowhere. Clayman pulled a small device from his belt and fired a restraining field around Lakeman.
His antennae waving wildly, Lakeman laughed. “You are good Clayman, not sure how you tracked me, but you got here before I could get back for my loot. They were too heavy for the little cruiser. Had to get a bigger ship.”
“By now, my crew already has your ship in a tractor beam. You are not going anywhere.”
“You got me, but you just violated the protectorate agreement. They’ve seen the statues and you. If you disappear without correcting this, you alter their timeline. You’re stuck here. You can’t leave.”
Clayman glanced at the last statute and sighed. As much as he hated it, Linkman was right. If he’d only been a little faster getting them and not awakened the elder, he’d be back on his ship with the one criminal he wanted more than any. As it was, he now stuck on this god-forsaken planet with an ugly stature only the people who built it could love.
He spoke into this com and told his crew to leave the last statue and transport Lakeman onboard. Then asked them to report his transgression to the High Command.
As Lakeman disappeared, he turned to look toward the gathered elders, now on their knees before him. Great, going to be a long wait before the First Contact team arrived and got him out of this mess. A very long wait.