Tongue Tied

This article is about the species. For the episode in which they feature, see RD: Psirens.

Psirens are a form of deadly GELF scavengers, encountered by the Boys from the Dwarf.

Their name is a combination of "Psi", and the "Sirens" of Greek mythology.


Psirens are a form of GELF which thrive on the brains of humans, often by sucking them out though a kind of metal straw.

Psirens are masters of illusion in catching their prey, and can telepathically get into the minds of humans and alter their perception. This is their modus operandi in order to draw in astros, get their guard down, suck out their brains and take anything else they can use.

Psirens inhabit and swarm an asteroid belt which has become a spaceship graveyard due to the Psirens luring astros down onto the rocks.

In their natural form, Psirens are insectoids standing at around two metres high and look something like giant assassin bugs, with giant bulbous eyes and a large carapace.

They can't hide their true forms from electronic devices, only the perception of it from anyone seeing it (providing that they are in range of their abilities). They are also territorial and are willing to kill each other to feed on their victim's brains.



They do whatever is necessary to lure their victims onto the asteroids, at first focusing their illusions on specific individuals. They also do this if they are alone, which is more successful as if in a group, the others are not as fooled by it. Examples include:

  • Crazed Astro - The most beautiful woman he had ever seen, who said that she wanted "to love him." This illusion was successful enough to get him to let his guard down momentarily, enough for the Psiren to pin down the astro and gorge on his brains with a straw.
  • Cat - Two scantily dressed temptresses who need males to "spread their seed amongst our number". Cat was going to to bring Starbug down to the asteroid before being stopped by the others.
  • Lister - A last stand for the SCS Pioneer, Captain Tau is being attacked by Psirens, also one of those fighting a doomed battle was Kristine Kochanski, who intends to kill herself and her two sons (Lister is the father). This only fooled Lister as he was the focus of it. While on one of the asteroids, one Psiren appeared as Pete Tranter's Sister to seduce him. It was successful, but that Psiren was killed by another appearing as Kryten, who Lister killed with a Bazookoid when he realised that it wasn't Kryten when he called him "Dave", which the real Kryten would never do. He was then almost seduced yet again, this time by the (out-of-shot) TV weathergirl from Groovy Channel 27, who was apparently doing naughty things with her pointy stick, before Rimmer screamed at him to get back on Starbug.
  • Kryten - Professor Mamet as Kryten is hard-programmed not to harm her and obey her every command, regardless of his desires. The Psiren used this to make Kryten drop his radio and crush himself in the trash compactor.

Group Illusions

Failing this, they use more broad-spectrum illusions to achieve their purpose, illusions that are aimed at the group, which are either used to force them on the rocks or to deceive:

  • Flaming Meteorite - This was used to make Starbug cash into an asteroid, Kryten could see nothing on the readout and deduced that it is an illusion, although it's not perfect.
  • Radar Readout - This time, they decided to alter the radar readout to make Starbug think that they are trying it again, this time the Flaming Meteorite is real and the readout is the illusion as cabin temperature had risen while it was heading towards them, it resulted in success as Starbug crashed into an asteroid.
  • Lister Copy - To get into Starbug, a Psiren appeared as Lister and seeing as they couldn't risk killing Lister by potentially sucking him out into space, they let them both in and tested both to see which was the real one. The copy got everything right (right-handed, trimming toe nails with his teeth), but the illusion wasn't perfect as the Psiren could play the guitar better than Lister because of his delusion that he could "play the guitar like the ghost of Hendrix", this resulted in it being shot a few times.
  • Vending machine - To deceive them long enough to surprise them, a Psiren turned into a vending machine, which although less than cunning, fooled them long enough for it to knock them out.