In 1987, a cassette tape emerged which contained the last known recording of the Song of the Sirens. The origins of the tape are uncertain: it was found abandoned in a secure deposit box of a bank in Gibraltar by an officer in the British Navy. Though the box was registered in his name, he insisted that a number of artifacts discovered inside, including the tape, were not his own.
Those who had previously heard the Siren’s song were able to vouch for its authenticity. At the time, there were still numerous living veterans of the Great War, during which time the Sirens had been weaponized by the Ottoman Empire. Survivors described their voices as being akin to “a flock of mechanical songbirds,” “a choir heard through tin seashells,” and perhaps most bizarrely, as “an ensemble of oboes with tongues.” For these veterans, the recording was unmistakeable, despite the fact that none of the Sirens were believed to have survived the war (which took place long before such a thing could have ever been made).
The psychological effects of this recording were as one might expect: humans who heard the melody were stricken with an uncanny lustfulness, and drawn towards its source against their will. Even without a living, organic Siren at the source of the sound, listeners were still enthralled, and often needed to be physically separated from any speakers or phonographs in use. Military research into the possibility of re-weaponizing Sirens post-extinction began, focused on utilization of this inexplicable artifact; however, as the Cold War came to a close, and with it, the prospect of ship-to-ship warfare, such projects were eventually abandoned.
The most interesting results of these tests came with the use of headphones. Through them, the Sirens’ music was able to emerge from a source that had historically been impossible: from directly within the skull. The classical effects of their song began to manifest in a new manner: listeners described a sense that the two halves of their brain were being pulled apart, then downward, sinking along the wires. “Though I am still alive, I know that my mind drowned down there,” wrote one test subject after eight hours of exposure. “My body is here, writing this, but I know that I am not. Wherever my thoughts once were, now, only saltwater remains.”