POD: Set in the future
|Appearance(s):||All Fall Down|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
Merv Saunders was Vanessa Ferguson's supervisor on a salvage crew after the eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano. He was a tall, thin, balding man whose features seemed to always look disapproving. The salvage crew was authorized to collect abandoned property by the eponymously named Abandoned Property Act.
Saunders' team was sent out on scavenging runs into eastern Kansas where the ash accumulation was the thinnest. If the particular trip was farmland, they would check farmhouses for survivors and if there were none salvage clothing and electronics. They would also check outbuildings for animal feed and machinery. On other occasions, they would check small towns such as Arma, Kansas where they would also look for salvageable gasoline and diesel fuel in any gas stations. If they found human bodies, they would bury them but left animal bodies where they lay.
On one occasion, the crew approached what appeared to be an abandoned farmhouse that had large warning signs declaring "KEEP OUT!" and "TRESPASSERS WILL BE VIOLATED!" Closer to the farmhouse was another sign warning of mines. The crew were willing to move on but Saunders had orders to make contact with any survivors so he began to move toward the building. After a few steps a full sized machine gun opened up with tracers not nearly high enough overhead. A loudspeaker then told him to get off the property or he would be shot. Saunders was satisfied with his attempt to make contact and had the crew head out to the next farm.
Part of Saunders' job was to keep his crew working together. He quickly put out small fires between them before they turned into big ones. For instance, in Fredonia, Ferguson made a lame joke about cell phone relay towers being alien listening devices, which another crew member loudly said he thought was a stupid idea. Saunders immediately told them to knock it off to prevent escalation. Ferguson was tempted to claim the other guy started it but desisted since Saunders didn't care, he only wanted it stopped.