- For other uses, see Syrath.
The Syrath were a non-humanoid race from the planet Syrath, of which Doctor Se'al Cethente Qas was a member. As a non-gendered species, they regularly use the pronoun "it" without being considered rude.
Syrath evolved in a heavily clouded Venus-type environment with a surface pressure of slightly less than 200 standard atmospheres. A crystalline life-form, they have an exoskeleton and a synthesised voice translated from bioelectric impulses. A high dome on top contains the primary nerve cluster, tapering down to a diamond shape containing the secondary nerve cluster, with both clusters containing bulges that function as omnidirectional senses and glow with a luminescent green light. Four arachnid legs and four tentacles can emerge from apertures just under the dome. (TTN novel: Taking Wing)
Unlike organic life-forms, Syrath physiology is based on piezo-electric crystal cells in a liquid silicate solvent, with genetic information encoded structurally in chains of dislocation loops, and electrically in stored potentials, rather than chemically in nucleic acids. This makes them practically immortal by humanoid standards – in addition to the more durable physiology, neural information is encoded in every cell of the body rather than in a centralized brain, meaning that much of a Syrath's body can be destroyed without the "personality" dying.
Any remaining intact part of the body can regenerate in the correct growth medium into a new individual with the same basic personality template as the original. This also leaves Syrath without the mortal fear of death most humanoid species experience – they consider such an event a chance for a "fresh start". Cethente had experienced three such "deaths" before joining the crew of USS Titan – the thirdname "Qas" indicated this was the individual's fourth incarnation. On the rare occasions where two parts of a Syrath regenerate into separate individuals both based on the same original, the creation of these inadvertent "twins" can cause conflict.
Syrath physiology feeds by absorption of radiant or geothermal energy, along with the occasional mineral compound. They often find the consumption of other living matter to survive, as required by most organic life-forms, inexplicable and distasteful. Syrath can enter a meditative state roughly analogous to sleep; an increase in sensor data to the nerve clusters is sufficient to awake them. (TTN novel: Over a Torrent Sea)