A/N: This story picks up a few hours after where The Ring leaves off. I'm using some stuff from The Spiral in it. Hope you like, please review! Also, the disclaimer. I don't own any of the characters from the books or the movies, and I'm not making any money.
Doctor Claire Winslow pulled on surgical gloves and adjusted her mask and goggles.
"Okay, Noah Clay. What killed you?" she murmured, as she picked up the scalpel and began. For the benefit of her micro recorder, she said aloud, "Noah Clay, Caucasian male, age thirty…" She paused. She was thirty-one. Whenever someone her age or younger came to her autopsy table, it made her shiver for a moment.
Remember why you switched to forensic work. The dead are silent. They no longer suffer, they no longer want, they no longer hurt. The only mystery left is what killed them.
"Cause of death, as yet undetermined. Time of death—This can't be right." According to the chart, Noah Clay had died only a few hours before, but the corpse on the table looked like a 'floater', waterlogged and partially decayed. Yet there it was: that morning, he had been alive and well. Something like Ebola? A new virus or bacterium which kills even more swiftly and horribly?
Step by step she narrated her discoveries. Removing his organs one by one, she analyzed their condition, weighing and measuring them. He has smoker's lungs; how ironic. He died young from another cause.
His heart—She snipped the veins and arteries and freed it from his chest. As the one muscle which was always working, his heart should have been tough and strong. Instead it was as soft as a rotten bell pepper. Something had reduced it to a fist-sized lump of mush, something she had never before encountered. Taking up her scalpel, she took a sample of tissue, and prepared it for the microscope.
Every cell in the sample was ruptured. Oh. Shit. This is a disease I've never seen or heard of. Where did it come from? How is it carried? Where did he contract it? Stepping away from the lab table, she made a call she had always prayed she would never have to make. "I need to declare a biohazard emergency."
Rachel Keller was furious. Aiden had only hours to live unless she found someone to watch that tape. Just as they were going out the door on the way to Ruthie's with the tape, this team of people had swooped down on them, suited up just like in the movie Outbreak, and taken them off to here. Where ever here was, this featureless white room divided by a glass wall… Frustrated, she stood up and kicked over the chair. Whoever was responsible for this, she hated them. Hated them enough to kill them.
This must be how Samara feels all the time. That horrifying thought was like ice water down her spine. Carefully and calmly, she picked up her chair and set it upright again.
A noise behind her made her whirl. A woman had entered the other half of the room. She wore a white lab coat, a surgical mask and gloves, and safety goggles.
As she approached the glass wall which separated them, she pulled the mask down. "Ms. Keller, I want to apologize for the inconveniences you've suffered. I'm afraid the death of your ex has prompted a state of medical emergency. He died of what could turn out to be an extremely dangerous and deadly virus."
Rachel glared at the woman. She was about Rachel's age, but she was somewhat taller, her hair was light carroty-red, and she had the kind of pale, freckled skin which often went with it. Her eyelashes were colorless. She has a face like a slice of oatmeal bread. And plain bread, too. Hasn't she ever heard of make-up? Aware she was being petty, she struck out. "Where the hell am I? And who the hell are you?"
"You're in the local Center for Disease Control. I'm Doctor Claire Winslow. I'm with the coroner's office. I performed the autopsy on Noah Clay."
"Yeah? Well, you'll be performing one on his son before too long." Aiden. How can I save him now? Who can I get to watch the tape?
The doctor nodded. "You mean Aiden? Yes. He has an active viral infection. But you—you recall that the biohazard team took a blood sample from each of you?"
"You had the virus—but it's inactive in you. Your system fought off the disease."
A virus? How can it have been a virus which killed Noah? "Yes, I know—. Wait. You want to know about what killed Noah? You want to learn how to stop it?"
"Yes. Of course."
"Then I'll make a deal with you." She dug around in her purse, and pulled out Aiden's tape. "I know a lot, and I'll tell you everything I know—if you take this tape and watch it. Now. Right now. You have to tell me what you saw, if you want me to talk. And if you can, make a copy of it at the same time. You'll want a copy—once you know what I have to tell you."
"What?" asked Dr. Winslow. "This is a medical emergency—."
"I know. Believe me, I wouldn't ask you if this weren't important. Look. Aiden is just a little boy. If you watch this—you'll save his life." And may God forgive me.
Doctor Winslow looked at the tape as if it were a poisonous snake ready to strike. "I—All right. There's a box for transferring items from one side of the glass to the other. I'll watch it. What is it?"
"I'll explain afterwards." Rachel opened the box from her side, dropped the tape in carefully, and watched as the doctor wiped the case with an antibacterial tissue. "And—be sure you're alone when you watch it." Aiden. Aiden will live. I have to focus on that.
Next: Doctor Claire Winslow does the first VHS to DVD transfer of Samara's curse. How will that affect it?