In 2371, when the Olympia was returning to Federation space she diverted the ship to investigate an unusual energy reading. Finding a strange energy barrier surrounding a planet they scanned it, which resulted in a feedback that crippled the ship's engines. With no engines and fluctuating power Cusak ordered the crew to abandon ship. She was then rendered unconscious after a console blew up in her face. She was carried to an escape pod by her First officer, Commander Gatsby. (DS9: "The Sound of Her Voice")
After abandoning the ship her escape pod crashed on the planet, killing all the occupants except her leading her to believe she was the sole survivor of the disaster. With the pod torn apart she took shelter in a nearby cave with some emergency supplies and a subspace radio and sent out a distress call. After two days she managed to get into contact with the USS Defiant, however the signal was time-shifted over three years into the future and she mistakenly believed that the Defiant would be able to rescue her from the planet. She died of carbon dioxide poisoning after her supply of tri-ox compound expired.