The Syreen Penetrator is lightly crewed and not terribly powerful in terms of conventional weaponry, but it is able to use psionic weaponry to strengthen itself while weakening enemy ships. Along with the Mycon Podship and the Pkunk Fury, the Penetrator is one of the few ships able to come out of battle stronger than it went in.
The ship's phallic resemblance, coupled with the fact that it is piloted by a matriarchal race of mostly women, may lend it its euphemistic name.
The Penetrator has a good turn rate and a fair top speed but suffers from somewhat lacking acceleration. Its shape, center of gravity and turn rate can be masterfully combined into an orbiting maneuver, during which the Penetrator circles a planet until it finds the direction it wants, so as to use the Gravity-whip maneuver.
The Penetrator's primary weapon is a weak, forward-firing cannon with a fair range and acceptable firing rate. Each shot from the weapon kills two enemy crew members. Normally it is used for nothing but finishing off a Psi-resistant captain. This weapon is more commonly known as a "Particle Beam Stiletto", or alternatively as a "light Electron Dagger".
To compensate for its lack of offensive power, the Penetrator captain employs the "Syreen Song", a short-range hypnosis field designed to lure enemy crew from their ships via the airlocks. The effectiveness of the Syreen Song decreases with distance. When the ships are right next to each other, eight crew members may desert, but a ship will never be abandoned altogether. If the Penetrator picks up the crew, they will willingly serve alongside the Syreen as members of the Penetrator's crew; however, the enemy ship can still reclaim its crew. During the Ur Quan Slave War, crews on board Syreen ships became a surreal pastiche of alien races, with Ilwrath, VUX, Spathi and others working dutifully side by side with human volunteers under the command of beautiful Syreen officers.
Crew under the effect of the "Syreen Song" appear as green dots and float slowly toward the Penetrator. They have a limited amount of life support and if not retrieved by either ship, will expire and be lost. They are affected by gravity, so if they jump ship near the planet, they will fall into it and die. The Song has no effect on non-sentient beings such as the Slylandro Probe's artificial intelligence.
Against most ships, the tactic is pretty straightforward -- close in quickly, evade incoming fire, and use the "Syreen Song" to bolster your ranks and weaken the enemy's. Once you have made the enemy's crew your own, finish them off with a few quick shots.
The Penetrator is most effective against the quick, maneuverable ships, as these ships usually have low crew complements and short-range weapons. These ships must close in towards the Penetrator if they are to damage it, making them vulnerable to Syreen Songs, and the quick turning rate of the Penetrator, coupled with its speedy primary weapon means it is able to hit these highly maneuverable ships, killing the psi-resistant captain, often giving little time for their meager weaponry to inflict much damage.