INHABITANT OF XICLOTL
"I had almost collided, I thought, with a metallically grey tree. Small in comparison with the average in the forest, this tree was about sixteen feet high with very thick cylindrical branches. Then I noticed that the trunk divided into two cylinders near the ground, and the lower ends of these cylinders further divided into six flat circular extensions. This might merely have been a natural distortion, and such an explanation might also have accounted for the strange arrangement of the branches in a regular circle at the apex of the trunk; but I could not reach for a natural explanation when those branches nearest me suddenly extended clutchingly in my direction, and from the top of what I had taken for a trunk rose a featureless oval, leaning towards me to show an orifice gaping at the top."
"Another instrument, a box-shaped crystal emitting a scintillating petal-shaped field, was used to subdue the counterparts of that oval-headed faceless being, which apparently were a race of enslaved workers used to perform tasks requiring strength for the relatively weak insect species."
"By some obscure method of teleportation they transported the entire temple, with themselves, to the nearest planet on which they had a colony - the world of the faceless cylindrical beings, called Xiclotl by its inhabitants."
"Nor did they turn in passing the cells of the Xiclotl labor force, even when the beings in them crashed themselves against the doors and extended their tentacles in helpless fury upon sensing the portions of their fellow slave."
"Not until a grey metal tentacle whipped through a grille to quiver within an inch of my face did I realize that here was the passage of the Xiclotl labour force cells."
Ramsey Campbell, The Insects From Shaggai