The Colonials were a posthuman species created by the Qu from a colony of the Star People. Since their colony fought especially hard against the Qu invasion, they were punished in the worst way, by being forced to filter Qu waste products.
The Colonials had immobile cuboid bodies with orifices for filter feeding and reproduction, sexual as well as asexual. They retained the complex eyes and the high intelligence of their human ancestors, although only bearing the most basic nerves, so they could suffer the most from their fate as living filtering devices for the Qu for the next forty million years.
Some Colonials had both eyes on one side of their bodies, usually the same as their orifices, while others had only one eye on a given side of their bodies, with orifices and the other eye placed elsewhere. The placement of the eyes and orifices appear random, and no two Colonials appear the same.
The Colonials were created from a colony of Star People who successfully repelled a Qu invasion twice, only to succumb to the third invasion. Following a twisted sense of "justice," the Qu turned the Star People into the Colonials as a form of punishment, purposely letting them retain sapience and utilizing them as living waste disposal units. After the departure of the Qu, the Colonials continued to reproduce until they covered the planet in fields of human flesh.
They eventually evolved into diverse forms that formed specialized colonies. Every individual had a different function in each colony and benefited from the functions of the others. Some colonies grew enormous tap-roots that were able to siphon resources from far away. Others abandoned roots altogether and began to move themselves on starfish-like foot segments. Some colonies came up with units equipped with claws and poisons, taking competition to a brand-new, deadly level. Others responded to the threat with armor-plating, or watcher-cells equipped with enormous eyes. One of the colonies were the Modular People.
- All Tomorrows, by C. M. Koseman (2008)