Chapter 1: Scotty
Montgomery Scott knows that Starfleet lets kids enlist as young as fourteen these days and he's a good year above that restriction when he finally publishes the Aberdeen Solution - most of the work for that was spent drafting and redrafting the actual words that other people needed to pad the science and math; his literature teachers have always despaired his inability to reasonably construct sentences on paper - but he decides not to accept the offer to join up when it comes. High school, boring as the material is, is not nearly as time intensive as the Academy would be and Scott gets to spend his time tinkering with advanced engineering and physics theories in his backyard or hanging out with his friends. It is during this time that he may or may not build a miniature transporter in his room so that he doesn't have to stand up to get food.
He graduates high school soon enough and the offer comes again. Admittedly, Scott really wants to get his hands on a working warp core generator. He holds off though. He's seventeen. He has all the time in the world. That, and he's neck deep in designs for a small spacecraft that's looking more and more like a pleasure yacht for deep-space travel. His friends drag him out for drinks they're not old enough to have and that's fun, so he builds his own still in the backseat of his car, attends a few parties, has a girlfriend or two, and attends college. He graduates when he's twenty-one. Starfleet hasn't been particularly subtle in their attempts to recruit him, but he's has just enough rebellion in him that the continuous pushing is more than a little grating.
Progress with the yacht has stalled for the moment so he diverts his attention to a little theory that's been knocking around his head since he maybe build the miniaturized transporter and emerges six months later certain that transwarp beaming is definitely a thing and he's going to prove it. The thing is, his neighbors are, apparently, a little fed up with all the explosions, generator noise, and bright lights at all hours. One of his friends suggests that he takes a trip to this colony her cousin moved to a few years ago. Wide open spaces for experiments and unlimited time to work with. He's still getting creds for the Aberdeen Solution, has a good deal saved away, so it doesn't take much to pack up and head out to the tiny little rock in middle of nowhere space called Tarsus IV.
Scott spends his twenty-second birthday getting a little too drunk and needs to be chased out of the engine room of the ship he's taking to Tarsus no less than thirteen times.
As it turns out, the inhabitants of this colony are a little tech-shy, but that's fine. Getting the parts he'd need to play with the physicality of the transporter would be an expensive pain in the ass and with the ion cloud mucking around with communications, it's probable half the orders wouldn't go through. He doesn't mind much. The nearest settlement it a good six months away - middle of nowhere space - so he has no excuse to try testing his half-completed formulas for transplanetary beaming and even less of an excuse to attempt beaming things onto passing ships, simply because there are no passing ships. It gives him time to play with the math.
Scott doesn't spend all his time spray painting equations in the grass around his tiny shack of a house, though, and that only happened once, thanks. There's a couple of bars in town that he visits semi-regularly for warm meals a beer or two. He's passing drinking buddies with most of the locals and a surly kid who's only excuse for not going back to Earth is that space is disease and death wrapped up in cold and dark, and he is never getting on another ship ever again. It's hilarious and Scott maybe gets way to much pleasure battering the kid with his yacht plans. He drags the kid back to his place for his twenty-third and learns that he's only eighteen and probably shouldn't be drinking, but that stops neither of them in the face of good whiskey.
The next year, the kid's nineteenth birthday is spent horrifying him by showing him the miniature transporter that he uses to artificially age the whiskey he makes with the still. They get very drunk that night. Maybe it's the alcohol, or perhaps the math and the company, but it comes as no surprise to Scott when it's the kid that sidles up one day saying that the crops have been hit hard by a fungus that rotates though every handful of years. From what the locals say, it's hit at an awkward spot in the growing season - too late to replant the last crop, but far too early to plant the next one - but it's nothing to worry about. They'll be handing out ration cards in the next few weeks, just in case.
Scott is twenty-four years old, human, male, and has been healthy his entire life. He's a college educated engineer who, while usually working on something a bit obscure, is perfectly willing to help fix a tractor or some other bit of farm equipment for a meal and a beer. He doesn't have an arrest record or any outstanding payments, and the worse anyone has to say about him is that sometimes he'll get drunk and do math all over his front lawn. His ration card, when he receives it, is green.