The Syreen are a race of bipedal hominids astonishingly similar to the Humans. There has been much speculation about the relationship between Humans and Syreen; this discussion appears towards the end of the entry on humanity.
Physiologically and genetically, Syreen are human: the only detectable differences between the races are that the skin tint is somewhat more bluish in Syreen, and their retinas reflect light like an Earth cat's.
Earth stereotypes of the Syreen are rampant: matriarchal, "Space Amazons," "Space Gypsies," "warm, breathing pinups," and other sorts abound. The only things known for sure, however, are:
- Nomadic cultures on Syra were distinctly inferior to the urban and agricultural societies.
- The Syreen Space Patrol is almost exclusively female.
- Penetrator captains are capable of utilizing a psionic amplifier to project telepathic control over alien species. Whether captains are explicitly selected for latent psi ability, just how latent this psi ability is, and how common psi abilities are in the general population, are all unknown.
- When conversing with other species, Syreen do not evince casual telepathic prowess the way, for instance, the Pkunk or even the Zoq-Fot-Pik do.
Syreen history is rather unfortunate. Their homeworld, Syra (located at the star the Humans call "Beta Copernicus I"), was by all accounts an Eden. However, a catastrophe destroyed the homeworld entirely, reducing the population mostly to those living in orbit as part of the Syreen Space Patrol. The remaining survivors were gathered into space habitats (mostly incapable of HyperSpace travel) and began to search the galaxy for a new home.
They maneuvered into Human space to avoid VUX raiders during the first War -- it is implied but not explicitly stated that Humanity's industrial base supported the Syreen fleet.
After the defeat of the Chenjesu, the Mmrnmhrm, and Humanity, the Syreen were abandoned by the remainder of the Alliance and left to face the Ur-Quan alone. They surrendered, and in exchange the Ur-Quan searched their planetary database to find them a new homeworld. This homeworld, Gaia, orbited the star Betelgeuse.
The Syreen were content to remain neutral at this point until Zelnick proved to them that the destruction of Syra was in fact engineered by the Mycon. After wreaking their revenge upon the Mycon, the Syreen returned to the New Alliance.
The only named Syreen of note in The Ur-Quan Masters is Talana.