It was as if he lost all of his body heat through his eyes. A sight? As one of the leading researchers in the medical field, he never expected that a mere display could freeze him on the spot.

Rows. Racks. Cattle had it better. At least, the animals were dead as they hung from their hooks. It seemed they were not as kind to humans as humans were to animals.

“Get your shit together, doctor!” the single soldier sent to accompany him said.

The doctor blinked quickly, as he snapped back to reality. That was true. He was here for a reason, not just to be shocked by the image of laboratory human experiments. They were supposed to find out why they had suddenly left earth and opened the doors to their special quarantined floor.

“I’m sorry. Let’s go,” the doctor said.

Leading, the doctor walked across the main hall. He didn’t know much about them. No one really did. He’d only seen them in some meetings, but they liked their privacy. But, he was glad the atmosphere they breathed was similar, and they had the same walking appendages as did humans. Their lab looked very much like a human lab, with the one exception. Their test subjects were human.

They hung on the walls, broken into pieces. Some still conscious though lacking important sections. A man’s head watched him walk past, his eyes tracking the doctor like a camera. It mouthed words, but no sound came out. But, even someone who could not read lips could understand what he asked for. Help.

Even if the soldier spoke tough, the doctor could see it start to affect him too. Especially as they walked past what looked like a human “map” display. Something they used probably used for reference. It was a large container, like that of a massive fish tank, filled with a gelatin-like liquid that kept the woman inside in place. But, her body parts had all been open and dissected out. He intestine unraveled, and her skull removed to show the brain and the eyes. It was as if they looked at some sort of x-ray vision of the person.

“She’s alive,” the soldier said.

The doctor looked at it again though he’d tried to ignore it. Yes. The lungs moved, and the heart beat.

This is what they’d agreed to when they created the treaty between them and humanity. They would have this place and a steady supply of people, and they gave people technology. It had been worth it. A few lives for the sake of many.

But now they were gone, and had stopped their own supply. That meant the treaty would be broken soon if they didn’t deliver.

“Is it really safe to be walking in here?” the soldier asked. He held on to his gun, his finger stretched parallel to the trigger. “I have a bad feeling about this.”

“How should I know?”

Of course he did know. It was. He’d taken the short straw. The soldier had just been randomly assigned. This level was off access previously, and extremely dangerous because of them. In short, they were a small recon team, tasked with just looking to see if there were any traces left. He was there to make scientific observations, and the soldier as a guard, though it was more of a mental thing since he’d probably be unable to do anything against them.

“Why do you think they left…I mean, look at all of this,” the soldier said, and pointed with his gun. “Why go to the trouble of all this and just leave it all behind?”

The question had also been bothering him. He’d expected all of the level to be wiped clean. Why want a steady supply of bodies, and then abandon them all here? Weren’t they supposed to be using them for their own purposes?

The doctor stopped. Of course. Why go on with an experiment if you were done?

“Keep your gun up,” the doctor said.

They had never mentioned what they were up to nor explained the need of humans. And from the look of the experiments, they were very interested in the human physicality, or at least how to keep it alive in sections.

As they walked further into the room, the experimentation changed. The humans stopped looking exactly like humans. The people’s heads on display grew larger, their eyes also getting bigger, their iris most of the eye. The further they went, the more the humans looked like a combination of them and people. Why would they want to combine?

More pieces. More chunks. More bodies alive and staring. Some managed to utter sounds, but they didn’t go beyond moans, their bodies kept alive at such a weak state they lacked any power to do so.

At the end of the hall, there was a single display, large cage. Unlike the other ones, the creature in it no longer looked human anymore, and it looked a lot more like them. It was small, half the normal human, its eyes big. Its skin was beyond pale, and looked like that of a dead person, lacking any coloration.

“What the hell is that?” the soldier said.

Right, almost no one had ever seen them. A soldier in charge of security would’ve never known.

“That’s sort of what they look like, but this one is strange.”

The doctor leaned in and stared at it. It stared back, arched and low to the ground, like a cornered animal. They weren’t like this. They weren’t beastlike, were they? For a civilization to travel so far, they had to be smart, not like a monkeys. Its eyes reflected light like a black mirror. It didn’t have a mouth, nor any hair. Had it been standing normally, the doctor would have sworn it was one of them. But, what was different?

They had experimented with human bodies, and even started combining humans with them, but the end product was still exactly like them? Had they failed to breed what they wanted? Or, was this a successful step.

The creature walked closer and looked up at the doctor. Even if it looked like them, something was indeed different.

“What the fuck is wrong with it,” the soldier said, his gun aimed at it. “It’s eyes are fucking creepy. It’s like a person, but it doesn’t look like one.”

The doctor’s eyes widened. “They were trying to combine with us, but not for our bodies. They wanted something else,” the doctor said. “And they got it.”

“What the hell do you mean?”

“They say the eyes are the windows into the soul.”

Just saying those words angered him. A doctor like him should never be talking about some bullshit thing like the soul, but. What if they were after something like that?

The creature extended its arm at the soldier, and tried to grab his gun.

Out of reflex, he pulled back and kicked the cage. “Stay the fuck back, freak.”

It shrieked and ran to the back, but even from there, the doctor could see the reflection still on its eyes. Yes, they looked like their eyes. But there was something in them he’d never seen inside their eyes before.

“They got what they wanted from us.”