Alton Vines is the former chief engineer of the USS Ackerman. He was aboard the Ackerman when it disappeared in 2369, and when the ship reappeared in 2379, Commander Vines was one of three survivors recovered from the ship's transporter. Like his fellow survivors David Whale and Tina Thoresson, he found it difficult to readjust to the 24th century.
Vines had been horribly scarred, emotionally, and had almost entirely shut down from day one after he learned that all his family members he had known, including his wife of thirty-five years, his three grown children, and his four grandchildren, were long since dead. He suffered a breakdown and was eventually made a permanent resident of the Starfleet Veterans Hospital.
A visit by Whale in 2388, however, finally sparked Vines's recovery. By 2393, he had left the hospital but then went off the grid. Roshanara Rahman enlisted the help of Whale to find Vines to assist with her task of getting the USS Venture ready to be flown to the Khitomer Centennial celebration later that year.