Ed Cowley was a trader who once piloted his spacecraft near what the thought was a kind of black hole. Like all vessel masters of his era, he had consulted with the ADF prior to disembarkation, and had been assured by their people that his path was well outside Dalek-controlled space. Unfortunately, the ADF's data had been wrong. Several Dalek ships lay along his route as he neared the anomaly. The Daleks immediately began pummelling his ship with firepower. Cowley's only hope for survival was to enter the anomaly.
When he did so, he was transported to another part of space entirely. The extreme stresses inside the anomaly knocked him unconscious. He awoke to find that he was on a collision course with a planet that was slightly smaller than Earth. Acting quickly, Cowley initiated his vessel's landing sequence. His action wasn't quite quick enough: he still crashed into the planet's surface, but he crashed "gently" enough to avoid his death.
He was immediately greeted by the native inhabitants of that world — a race of feline humanoids who seemed peaceful enough. They immediately began picking over his ship, and Crowley was impressed by their energy and physical dexterity. He believed, briefly, that he had happened upon the most naturally gifted race of workers he had ever seen. He was just beginning to think of ways to harness them to a business purpose — a way to use them to become the richest man in the universe — when his daydreams were interrupted by the arrival of pursuing Daleks.
When the Daleks made planetfall, Cowley took off for this own ship. He had no way to communicate with the apparently friendly race he had just met, no way to warn them of the evil the Daleks represented. All he could hope to do, he thought, was to save himself. When he boarded his vessel, he discovered that the feline species had not only completely repaired it, they had effectively redesigned it. It was now vastly upgraded from its previous configuration.
He headed for the entrance of the anomaly that had brought him to the felines' world. By his reckoning, two Dalek ships had landed on that world — meaning that one was still guarding the entrance to the anomaly. He went through cautiously, expecting, and receiving, an immediate Dalek attack. What he didn't expect was the massive upgrade the felines had given to his weapons array. He instantly destroyed the previously-formidable Dalek vessel.
Instead of being happy, however, he became intensely worried. If the felines were now equipping the other Dalek vessels with similar weapons, the universe was almost certain to fall under Dalek control. He lay in wait outside the anomaly's entrance. One Dalek vessel came through, and he engaged it. Cowley confirmed it had indeed been upgraded, then sent a message to the ADF to warn them, and all sentients opposed to the Daleks, of the new threat. He was able to destroy the ship, though, because the Daleks were still affected by the disorientation of travelling across the threshold of the anomaly. The second ship came through, and he began to fire again, as the anomaly closed forever behind the escaping Dalek craft.
When Cowley's ship was discovered by Joel Shaw of the ADF, Cowley's hands were still wrapped around the firing controls. He was dead. There was no obvious reason why he was dead. Listening back to Cowley's comm-set, which had been openly recording the battle, Shaw was only able to determine that there were only two explosions. Shaw feared that Cowley had not been able to destroy the second Dalek craft. (PROSE: Blockade)