Title: Legacy of the Little People
Author: Chiprnr
Written: April 1996
Disclaimer: All characters etc are the Property of Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and the FOX Network. No infringement of copyright is intended.

Summary: The loss of the San Pedro mummy left many unanswered questions in the anthropological community pertaining to the little Buddha, the preserved 40 something year old man, who, if standing would be a mere 14 inches tall. Now, after he is again found, then lost, Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate it in the small Nebraska town where strange occurrences are happening with new frequency.

5 miles from Ramey, Nebraska

The skin of the carnival tent snapped back and forth in the wind, the faded covering of yesteryear with it's muted colors all but the dust that swirled to shadowed steps. The canopy had waited long in its abandoned state for discovery. The echo of raccoons and squirrels chased the steps of the children in jelly shoes and teenagers with spiked hair and ripped jeans. It had been forgotten, even to those who had once snuck into it's sanctuary to share in some illegal brew or weed, forbidden company.

Now the caresses of darkness were only the delicate touch of spiders' webs and the dust that swirled over a pair of new footprints of two young boys and a big pawed hound. The dust had reclaimed the seat of the carnival's secret, which had rested there for many years, which rested now in the knapsack of a light haired boy. The secret breathed still, its mystery and its curse.

In the distance, dark clouds gathered.

Consisting of four rooms and an attic the Thomas J. Moore Anthropological Museum of Human Wonders and Antiquity had a more impressive name than repute. The museum was deserted in the summer afternoon, it's lone occupant the lanky curator Erik Nyvan who was crouched before a shadowed metallic tomb. His magnified eye swelled ten times its natural size, rings of brown fusing to a black pupil. It peered intently through the monocle, a drop of sweat perched perilously on his wrinkled brow. His hands were propelled in precise and careful movements as his expression intensified. A sudden humming emerged from where he worked and then a terrible crash as the man rolled back on the balls of his feet, holding the monocle in place.

The jangle of the front door heralded the sudden entrance of sunshine into the dimly lit museum. "The air conditioner break down again Dad?" a blond haired boy of about six asked, his head tilted.

"I'll have to call that mechanic on Chester again, he's got the same piece of junk in his house," the man nodded, kicking the arcane air conditioner as he rose. He wiped a strange metallic grey powder off his hands, turning to the youth. He towered over the boy and his brother, his dusty blond hair catching in his eyes as it did theirs. He ruffled the hair back of the younger one, "Where were you to all day?"

"We found a mummy of a leprechaun!" the little one bounced up and down.

"Oh did you," Erik smiled, looking at his older son. The boys' eyes sparkled as he flourishingly raised his backpack and placed it on his fathers desk. The zippers teeth unlocked one by one, releasing the breath of the carnival tent's tomb. Erik crept closer, the monocle falling to be caught by the hang man's noose of the golden chain. It sat no more than fourteen inches tall, Indian style, its hands crossed in its lap. His eyes were closed, his head bent down as if in meditation. It had both a flat nose and skull which formed a low forehead. The skin, dried by perhaps centuries, was wrinkled brown like the cancerous leaves of a tobacco plant over it's, over his body. Erik felt his own skin crawl, hairs standing up on the back of his neck. He knew this creature. He had seen pictures of it in magazines. He had heard the arguments over whether the mummified body was that of a buried infant or an old pygmy, arguments unanswered since the mummy had been lost for decades. Staring at it, Erik felt there was something unnatural about the creature sitting as a little Buddha. It did not rest in peace, he thought unwillingly. He reached out to touch it, but went to the phone instead. As he dialed for the operator he noticed dark clouds gathering on the horizon.

It had found another tomb, the little man in his eternal pose. This tomb was freer than the granite ledge in a Wyoming mountain where it had waited for centuries, or the tacky gold painted wood sarcofagus of the carnival. This tomb was a glass case upon the museum curators desk. It sat, it waited.

A scrapping sound came from the window, rasping breathing of wooden flesh. Two figures slid in, one bearing a small light attached to her key chain. It traced the outline of the room, and rested on the figure's silhouette.

"Is that it?" came the hushed voice.

"Isn't it great? I knew it was perfect when I saw it," said the second shadow lifting the glass case, the residue grey powder on his gloves scratching the glasss slightly. "It's the perfect prize."

The first form shivered looking at her boyfriend. This fraternity thing was getting worse all the time. She didn't like that thing, she didn't like what they were doing. She was more than happy to follow him back out into the moonlight, even though it was hazy because of darkening clouds. Later, as he kissed her good night, she could swear the thing on the red vinyl of the back seat was watching. That night, every window and door of her apartment was locked tight.

Washington DC

The scent of caffeine chased away the somewhat moldy and mouldering odor of the basement office as Scully entered the room. She stood in the doorway a few minutes, eyeing the slide projector wearily.

"Just in time for the show," Mulder said from somewhere in the murking unseen depths of the office.

"I forgot my popcorn."

Mulder smiled as walked over to the slide projector. "Light?"

Scully flipped off the switch,"What is it this time Mulder? Cattle mutilations? Crop circles?" Scully frowned as the light of the projector flickered on and Mulder focused the lens. She gave him that raised eyebrow, "you wonder why they locked you down here?" look as she sat back in his swivel chair.

Mulder smiled, "No, I don't think it's an alien. It's the San Pedro mummy, found 60 miles southwest of Casper, Wyoming in 1932. After a laudable performance on the sideshow circuit and several unexplained accidents, he was purchased by a respectable businessman who sent it to Harvard to be studied by one Dr. Harry Sharpiro." Mulder handed Scully the file."Through X rays he determined that the remains were of a 65 year old man who had grown to be a full 14 inches tall."

"Mulder," Scully interrupted,"There's another report in here by a Dr. George Gill claiming it was an infant who died of anencephaly. That would account for the abnormality of adult proportions."

"Pedro,"Mulder continued, "Took a slight detour from the anthropology circuit in the mid 50's, before either case could be proven. He simply vanished." He met Scully's gaze.

"Maybe he was an alien and his people came back for him," Scully said sarcastically.

"Then they redeposited him a few days ago in Nebraska. Two boys reportedly found him in an abandoned carnival tent. The local museum curator photographically documented the mummy and notified the Smithsonian. His office was broken into that night and the mummy stolen."

"Convenient. Mulder, this sounds like a case for the local police and a team of anthropologists, not an X file."

Mulder's eyes sparkled, "Then I guess we'll have time to catch a Redskins game before our return flight."

"The Redskins aren't in Nebraska," Scully sighed at her tall partners back.

Mulder eased his foot down on the break, frowning at the line of cars and haze of grey smoke ahead. Scully looked up from the file she had been sorting, glanced over to him. "Welcome to downtown Ramey," he shrugged.

Small store front buildings lined the main street, seven or eight in all. The public library consisted of a one story brick house, they had passed the two story middle/high school on their way in. Mulder leaned toward the glass, the anthropology museum was off of the street several blocks up, but the police station was little more than a block away. "Why don't we check in with the local law enforcement?" he ended with a slight Western drawl.

Scully nodded, sliding the file into the glove compartment. "Don't antagonize them." Mulder gave Scully his best hurt little boy expression. "Mulder," Scully warned.

The bustle of the Ramey police station was confined to a crackling radio and the asthmatic breathing of the secretary. That and the annoyed voice of the sheriff who was not in the least pleased with Mulder's questions.

"Well, have there been any odd or strange incidents since the theft?" Mulder said over the sheriffs grumbles.


"What about the congestion getting into town, what caused that?"

"Some kid had car troubles this morning, electrical fire or something. Ironic, the kid was a mechanic," he finished more to himself than to the agent.

"Anything else?"

"Someone's barn caught fire," he replied dryly.

Scully turned away from the exchange, glancing at the secretary who had added the clanking of type writer keys to the static of the office. "Caught fire," she muttered, glancing at Scully.

"What's that?" Scully said walking closer.

"The barn didn't just burn, it wasn't just struck by lightning."

"Are you saying that it was arson?" Scully asked.

"No. It was lightning, but not," the woman shook her balding head. "Lightning come from the sky, that light came from the ground. Friend of mine saw it." The blue of the woman's eyes glared out against the bloodshot white.

"Where was this barn?"

"Behind the big green house on Chester," the secretary rasped.

"Scully," Mulder said coming behind her, looking to the door.

As Scully closed her door in the blue Taurus she turned to Mulder. She studied his frustrated expression, debating whether or not to tell him what the secretary had said. After musing for a moment, she concluded not even her partner could tie the "lightning" to aliens, UFO's or spontaneous human combustion -yet- but only electrical irregularities.

"The secretary claimed that the barn fire on Chester was caused by some type of electrical abnormalities." she said carefully.

"What type of abnormalities," he said turning the key.

"Lightning that appeared to come from the ground. And without time loss or bright lights, Mulder."

"Mmm," Mulder said backing up. As they turned out onto the street, a tow truck dragging the smouldering husk of a burned out Buick drove by. The interior was completely gutted, the remaining red paint blistered in third degree burns. Mulder shivered as he imagined the heat of such a blaze. He hated fire.

"A little car problem?" Scully remarked. Mulder shook his head.

"After we check with the anthropologist I think we should visit Chester." Mulder looked up at the clouded sky which had taken on a greenish hue. "They should look out for more lightning."

Mulder held open the museum door for Scully, still eyeing the sky. The air in the museum hung in their throats, dust particles suspended in air. A sputtering, crashing sound emerged from one of the adjoining rooms. Mulder frowned at Scully, holding his hand to his gun as they walked to the far doorway. Both agents jumped as a tall form appeared framed in the doorway, the light appearing as rays with the falling dust.

"You must be the federal agents", the man said, stepping forward to greet them with an open hand and a tousled nod of a blond head. "Erik Nyvan."

"Agent Scully and Agent Mulder," Sully said taking his Nyvan's hand as Mulder nodded, pulling his own hand back from his gun. She glanced down, frowning at the layer of grit that had wiped off onto her.

"Sorry", the curator smiled,"Air Conditioner." He turned and lead them to his desk, telling them about what happened. As he flipped on the light, an audible burst of electricity zapped him. He shook his hand, glaring at the light that flickered in response to the electrical burst.

"So the suspect came through this window?" Mulder said scanning the window frame.

"Pried it open from outside. I'll show you"

Outside, under the threatening sky, the wooden frame revealed where it had been forced open. Nyvan stood back, motioning to the splintered wood. "It wasn't this bad before though. One of my boys found it partly open this morning, like someone had tried to break in again."

"Look at this Mulder," Scully bent down near the frame, her partner crouched beside her. She ran her pen along the edge of the frame, static causing small metallic particles to cling to it. "It's the same powder that rubbed off on myhands."

Mulder frowned, looking at the dusting that coated Nyvan's own hands. "Air conditioner? Has anyone worked on it recently, say the day of the theft?"

Nyvan nodded, "But he was with his girlfriend at the time of the theft."

"I think I'll drive back to the police station and see if the secretary has anything more to say," Scully said standing up. Mulder nodded, still studying the frame, his eyes matching the sky.

"See if you can get his and his girlfriends address." he called toward Scully's retreating back.

"I could tell you that," Nyvan said laughing," In a small town everyone knows everyone's business. Nancy Bishop lives on Cambel. Her boyfriend, Bill Marwitt, boards in house just past this road on Chester, number 38"

"Chester," Mulder mused, studying a granule of powder perched on his thumb nail. A mechanic. His eyes wandered to Nyvan's hands again, then to the walk Scully had disappeared down. The hairs on the back of his neck started to rise as he jumped to his feet. "Scully," he yelled already knowing he was too late as he heard the ignition catch.

He neared the corner, heart beating in his throat, as he heard the explosion. He turned, expecting to see the blue Ford a ball of flames, Scully trapped inside, unable to escape the fire. Mulder ran a little faster seeing the Taurus, in one piece, with only wisps of oily black smoke surrounding it, his partner opening her door to get out.

"Are you all right?" he questioned hoarsely, pulling her back from the car.

"I'm fine, Mulder," Scully reassured him, looking into his worried eyes, "I just burned my hand a little."

"We need to run some water over these burns," Mulder turned to Nyvan.

"Inside," he motioned, pulling his eyes away from the car.

"The metallic residue from the air conditioner must be a conduit for electricity," Scully said, as Mulder carefully dried her hand.

"I think it's more of an attractant than just a conduit, "Mulder commented, sitting back on his heels.

Nyvan looked up from where he was drying his own hands after he had meticulously washed every grain of powder off of them. "It's never been more than static though, when you get zapped I mean. A couple other people in town have the same kind of air conditioner."

"What about Bill Marwitt?" Scully said as Mulder stood up.

"Yeah, he's got one, and car problems too I heard," Nyvan frowned, "But like I said, we've never had problems like this before. The make of the air conditioner's over ten, maybe even twenty years old."

"The metal must have been charged by something," Mulder said, using a pencil from Nyvan's desk to scrape off some of the residue. He slowly moved the pencil back and forth in distance from the lamp, watching the fluctuations in power output. "The Apaches of the Southwest believe in vaporous spirits called gans that are linked to the spirit of the land and people, an energy that responds to its environment. Certain tribes of the Northwest hold similar beliefs but felt the spirits sometimes took a human-like form to travel with the tribes. One particular legend says that a certain mischievous faerie who did this angered the gods, who sent a great holy fire from the sky to destroy the race, but not the creature. Even with all its power, it was trapped in its mortal form until its body was no more than dust, something that would never happen to a faerie, even in mortal form." Mulder looked up from the flickering light. "You really shouldn't piss off gods."

"Are you saying that the San Pedro mummy is some sort of trapped faerie? That its energy is causing air conditioner dust to induce electrical fires?" Scully leaned forward in her chair, "Mulder, how much of that dust have you inhaled?"

"If such a creature was possible, or if the mummy was simply exposed to a large burst of radiation or lightning, is it not plausible that it would disperse a high engery in it's visicinity? " Mulder tilted his head, "Some unexplainable energy transformed a simple metallic compound into some type of electrodynamic phenomenon. " He held the pencil to the lamp which short-circuited, emphasizing his point. "This stuff would blow the minds of our guys in the Bureau Materials Analysis lab."

Scully frowned, "I think they'd come up with a more practical reason for a metal to conduct electricity, or "little people" causing explosions."

Mulder glanced out the clear glass of the door at the car that had since stopped smoking. He opened his mouth to speak but an echoing crash cut him off. They turned to the direction of the noise, light flashing out of the corner of their eyes as they did. Lightning seemed to flash from beyond the row of houses and trees down the street, darkened by a sudden torrent of rain. "Coming from Chester again," Nyvan muttered.

Mulder looked at Scully, who had risen to her feet. Lightning blurred her features as the air conditioner rattled to a weak start. The lights flickered and another crash echoed. Mulder meet her gaze before turning to the tempest. He ran in the direction Nyvan had earlier motioned, hoping he wasn't too late.

Mulder glared up through the rain at the blackened frame of the house. He saw no flame but there was the undeniable stink of sulfur and of something burning. Part ofthe foundation had given way. He could hear the voice of someone still inside. He swallowed his fear, concentrating on the obstacles in front of him, not those lurking in his mind.

The doorknob wouldn't turn, he thrust he shoulder against the door and caved in with it. He forced himself off the floor and sprung to his feet. He could see no fire but the thunder was closer, deafening, overpowering the sobbing he heard. He jogged through the rooms, dark, smoky, stinking of sulfur. As he reached the top of the stairs the house shook again. The handle on the second door in was turning furiously but a table had fallen against it, forcing it closed.

"It's OK, " he yelled to the person inside,"I'm going to get you out." Mulder pushed against the table but it wouldn't budge.

"Mulder?" Scully's voice called from downstairs.

"Up here," he called back, "Be careful!"

Scully ran up the stairs, Nyvan just behind her. Together he and Mulder moved the table away. The door flew open and Mulder caught the disheveled dark haired girl that fell out. Scully stared past him,"My God Mulder."

Mulder looked up into the room. The lightening had hit the widow, sending the glass and frame into the room, the window, the wall that was left little more than a gapping hole to the rain and wind. The window in front of where Bill Marwitt had been standing. His torn body was under a fallen timber, part of the ceiling brace. Mulder passed the sobbing girl to Scully, "She's hurt. Get her out of here."

Scully frowned, glancing in the room but nodded. She helped the girl to the stairs and as the house shook again, yelled for Mulder to follow. Mulder looked at Nyvan, he nodded and both men entered the room.

Mulder crouched before the fallen form of Bill Marwitt, feeling for a pulse. "He's still alive." Nyvan turned from where he'd been looking and hurried to Mulder's side.

Marwitt moaned as they pulled on the brace. "But it's the truth. I got rid of it, it's the truth." he finished falling back unconscious.

"Its no use,"Nyvan said,"We can't move it, we're killing him."

"The house could collapse at any minute," Mulder said looking around the room. His eyes stopped on the still figure sitting peacefully crosslegged on the bed. His eyes never leaving it he said, "One more time." For a moment, he thought he saw the closed lids flicker, saw the thin lips part in a shallow breath. Then, under their arms the beam moved, slightly, but enough to pull out the crumpled form.

Pushing toward the doorway, they hesitated, Nyvan staring at the figure sitting quietly, illuminated by the approaching lightning. The rain beat harder against the house, seconds beating to the next crash. Mulder caught Nyvan's gaze, drawing it to the broken form they supported. Nyvan nodded and they continued, maneuvering the man down the stairs. Scully met them at the door and helped them carry the man safely to the street.

"I took it back, it's the truth," Marwitt muttered almost unintelligibly.

Mulder looked back to the house, walking so he could see the broken window wondering at the "truth". Through the rain, he thought he could still see the mummy sitting on the bed, seemingly unaware of the elements. Despite the distance Mulder could see it quite clearly, and, for a moment, it seemed the mummy opened its eyes. For a moment, it seemed that two eyes, whithered like two tiny onions, caught the light of the fire from the sky that struck the house and set it aflame.

For once, Special Agent Fox Mulder was glad the truth had eluded him.

Voice over: Special Agent Dana Scully

The storm whose lighting set fire to the house on 38 Chester Street also claimed the Thomas J. Moore Anthropological Museum of Human Wonders and Antiquity. Both buildings were equipped with a Acamdia Air Conditioning unit, manufactured in Chaves county New Mexico with affiliates in local scrap metal companies. Recovered metallic particles displayed unusual conductive properties when exposed to a high electromagnetic charges. Another air conditioner of the same make and model did not display the adverse qualities, but was removed as a precaution. The catalyst in initiating the transformation of the two questionable units has yet to be determined.

All records and evidence of the brief recovery of the San Pedro Mummy were lost in the fires. This case remains inconclusive.

The End

Author's note: Despite the similarities, I have never seen the lightning boy episode and was just told today about the electromagnetic technical things I just fuzzed in that it had. Mmm, great minds must think alike. I played with the idea of changing the focus to the air conditioners, which originated in the proximity of Roswell (Chaves county), but air conditioner's made from UFO parts? I think Scully would finally call the men in white coats on Mulder. Anyways, this couldn't have been done without the Reader's Digest Mysteries of the Unexplained book, caffeine, and a case of insomnia.

A.N. Addendum: To achieve the atmosphere of an X File is to blend fact and fiction so you have trouble knowing where the truth ends and the story begins. The San Pedro Mummy does exist, though its present whereabouts is unknown. Ramey, Nebraska does not exist. I got the name by glancing over the Readers' Digest book I was using to research Pedro's history. It was a random selection that proved most ironic. I've already mentioned the relationship to Roswell in my piece, in fact it pops up in all my X Files due to an adoring familiarity I hold for the case. I wonder if that lead to my subconscious decision on naming the town Ramey? As I mumbled to myself while reading an article in on Roswell a few days past, I stopped on the name of one of the generals involved. Army intelligence officer Jesse Marcel, the rancher W.W. Brazel, the mortician Glenn Douglas, these names role off the tongue of anyone who follows Roswell, as would Gen. Roger M. Ramey. Ramey. The man who identified the wrecked object as a weather balloon, the man cursed as a conspirator. And I unknowingly named my town after him. Well, his tribute was a dying town, housing a condemned spirit. I suppose he and Pedro do have something in common, perhaps even the same end.

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