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On star date 239011.07, Starbase 118 Ops was struck by a giant ion storm, seemingly with a mind of its own. In fact, it was comprised of four separate storms, each one housing a primal entity relating to one of the basic elements - earth, air, fire and water.

These beings hammered their way through the station shields with ease, causing massive disruption as they took up residence in the four fusion generators, using the power grid to spread their influence across the entire facility.

As the shields collapsed under the assault of the storms, Sinda Essen burst into flames in front of the crew in the StratOps Centre, her body seeming to burn away to ash in seconds. In reality, she had been selected by the fire entity as its mortal champion, ready to do battle with the other elementals, and whisked her away to the generator room it occupied.

Although Essen tried to resist the possession, the entity offered her power beyond her dreams and a way to seek revenge on anyone who had ever wronged her. Essen was tempted and sensing her hesitation, the entity succeeded in manipulating her, creating an alter-ego called Cinder.

Cinder was as chaotic and capricious as the element she was related to. She had a striking sense of humour although it often involved her incinerating people for fun.

After blazing a trail of devastation through the station, which included the destruction of sickbay's main morgue, Cinder fell foul of her nature. With the arrogance and overconfidence that stemmed from the fire element, Cinder tried to convince her bother, Shale, to do away with their other siblings. The earth elemental had a long memory for Cinder's tricks, however, and responded by smashing her through several decks.

During the final conflict Cinder lay bruised and broken. Her control over Sinda Essen's body was slipping and the final defeat came when Essen overthrew the elemental in a battle of wills, banishing Cinder to join the other failed champions until their next challenge.