I was reading this question when I spotted something interesting. "The Sound of Her Voice" opens like this:

LISA [OC]: My name's Lisa Cusak. Until a couple of days ago, I was the commanding officer of the Olympia.
SISKO: The Olympia.
LISA [OC]: We left the Federation over eight years ago for a long range exploration of the Beta Quadrant.
SISKO: What happened to your ship, Captain?
LISA [OC]: We were finally heading home, if you can believe that, then we picked up some strange energy readings in a nearby star system, and I decided to stop and investigate. We found an energy barrier around the fourth planet that was unlike anything we'd ever seen, and when we probed it with our scanners it triggered a quantum reaction. There was an enormous surge of metrion radiation that disabled our engines. The next thing I knew, we were spiraling in toward the surface. I gave the order to abandon ship and the last thing I remember is a console exploding in my face. I woke up in an escape pod on the surface and I've spent the last day and a half sitting in this cave trying to raise someone on subspace.
BASHIR: Captain, Doctor Bashir, Chief Medical Officer. Your message said that you were on a L class planet. Are you sure?
LISA [OC]: Positive. And to answer your next question, yes, I've been giving myself fifteen cc's of triox every four hours to compensate for the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Just like it says in my medical tricorder.
BASHIR: How much triox do you have left?
LISA [OC]: One hundred and fifty millilitres.
BASHIR: Will you to decrease the dosage, Captain, to eight cc's every six hours. We need to stretch your supply as long as possible.
KASIDY: What happens when she runs out of the drug?
LISA [OC]: That's a good question, Doctor. What happens then?
BASHIR: You will begin to experience the effects of hypoxia. But before that happens, the triox compound will have strengthened your cardiopulmonary system, allowing you to better withstand the effects.
LISA [OC]: Better withstand the effects. In other words, I'm going to be gasping for air and turning different shades of blue by the time you get here.
BASHIR: Yes, I'm afraid so.
LISA [OC]: Thanks for brightening my day.
KASIDY: Is there anything we can do?
LISA [OC]: There is, actually. I can't sleep. I think the injections are keeping me awake and I haven't had anyone to talk to for two days.
SISKO: We'll be able to help you with that, Captain. I'll have one of my officers stay on the comm. line with you at all times.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode 6x25 "The Sound of Her Voice"

At the end of the episode, it is revealed that:

The Olympia had crashed more than three years before the Defiant arrived, and the planet's energy field shifted their radio signals back and forth through time. Lisa was long dead when they finally arrived on the surface.


She told them that she left the Federation "over eight years ago," but actual records would have reflected 11+ years. The Olympia was heading home at the time of the crash, so it is likely that Starfleet would have declared them overdue at some point, meaning 8 vs. 11 years is not a minor difference. It's the difference between being overdue and not.


She also specifically told them that she had only been on the planet surface for "a couple of days," so it is not possible that Sisko et al. misinterpreted the "eight years" as the mission duration rather than the total time elapsed. Such a misinterpretation would require her to have been stranded for more than three years, not two days, which is inconsistent with what she told them.

Why didn't anyone check Lisa's story against Federation records and note the discrepancy? At the very least, it seems like they would have contacted Starfleet to say "Hey, we're rescuing this person, if we don't report in by X time, assume we got stranded too and send another rescue crew."

  • 1
    Well, there's obviously a simple explana...hmm...see, they had been gone 8 years and you just look at the time lapse...ok, yeah...I got nothing. Great question.
    – Alarion
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 5:49
  • 1
    Perhaps they're just too far away to contact Starfleet? Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 6:43
  • 1
    Perhaps she was already suffering from hypoxia when she mentioned when her ship left etc.
    – Hans Olo
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 7:32
  • 2
    11 years is “over 8 years” — story checks out. Let’s go get her! Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 8:29

1 Answer 1



The Defiant may be operating inside Federation lines, but they certainly don't want to run into a Jem'Hadar raider while they're on a time-sensitive mission of mercy, something that would substantially slow them down.

BASHIR: We're a long way from the front lines, Worf. The chances of meeting a Dominion ship out here are negligible.

WORF: (to Sisko) We should not take the risk.

This presumably includes not broadcasting their position to all and sundry.

  • I was going to post this yesterday, but I looked into it a bit more and that line of reasoning just didn't make sense. The dialog indicates that the Olympia crashed in the Rutharian sector which isn't just inside Federation lines, but (according to Memory Alpha) far from the front lines, residing in the beta quadrant.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 16:27
  • 1
    @Ellesedil - There's still a war on and a risk of running into scouts and raiders. Presumably they'd have details of current ship dispositions in their own database but they'd probably need to contact Starfleet to find out details of long range research ships. This means broadcasting a powerful signal, then waiting for a response
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 16:36
  • 2
    I'm not sure storing ship positions in a database and expecting them to be accurate for weeks is all that reliable. They're 6 days away from the distress call. I would presumably assume that they've been on escort duty for much more than 6 days up to that point although the actual amount is unknown. That is a long time to expect individual ships to stick to whatever flight plan they filed. The only way to know is to check with Starfleet coms. I think Worf is just being abundantly cautious about weapon readiness because that's what Worf does pretty much all the time.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 16:56
  • 1
    @Ellesedil - I'm assuming in a time of war knowing the likely disposition of your ships would be essential.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 16:57
  • 1
    @Valorum - wouldn't they be narrowcasting, not broadcasting, a signal if they sent it to a specific location like the nearest starbase or starfleet command on Earth or whoever would know? Wouldn't their transmission be in a tight narrow beam? And the answer? Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 18:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.