--donation bonus week (day 3/5, post 2/5)--
‘Nope,’ said Voreese. ‘Stasya crafted the stone herself. And if you’ve been down there, then you know that it sure-as-fuck works. Not only does it repel bugs, it repels all wildlife. It even makes humans not want to be there.’
‘That doesn’t sound like a very comfortable place to live,’ said Garovel.
‘Well, it doesn’t affect us, because the stones use a very faint “taste of death” to repel living creatures. Obviously, we’ve all had more than just a taste, so our souls are already acclimated to it and don’t notice anything strange.’
‘Still,’ said Garovel. ‘We have normal people with us, as well. We can’t expect them to live in a place that makes them perpetually uncomfortable no matter what they do.’
‘No, no, it’s okay,’ said Voreese. ‘The feeling isn’t all that strong, really. As long as you explain where it comes from--that there’s no actual danger and that it’s just a silly pest control mechanism--then normal residents will get over it. The human brain is sophisticated enough to overcome the feeling with sufficient exposure and understanding.’
‘If you DON’T explain it to people, though, then it can really start to fuck with them, especially if they happen to have an anxiety disorder or just strange brain chemistry. It’s just the not knowing that really gets to people. So, anyone who’s going to be spending time here, particularly underground, should be made aware of this. It’s very important to their mental health.’
“Ah--okay,” said Hector.
‘No one’s down there right now, right?’
‘No,’ said Garovel. ‘Hector wouldn’t let anyone go in without him.’
‘Good,’ she said. ‘Oh, and also: no pets. Explaining the problem is obviously not going to work with a fucking horse or what have you. They’ll just run away at the first opportunity, and if you try to keep them here, they’ll go batshit crazy.’
‘If you’re disappointed, then just think of Garovel as your pet,’ said Voreese.
“That’s what I do,” said Roman. “To me, Voreese is that tiny dog that everyone knows. The one that never stops barking.”