|Yes, Jessica, There Is An Opener Of Ways|
Jessica meets her Opener.
Comic: "Later On We'll Expire" (click for full size)
|Number of Comics||10|
|Dates Published||December 4th - December 25th 2013|
|Zach, Jessica, Raccoons|
Let's Imaginate And Then There Were None!
Yes, Jessica, There Is An Opener Of Ways is the 73rd arc in Housepets!.
This arc marked the introduction of Jessica.
Out in the forest, one of the raccoons, Custom Ink, barges in on a possum, Jessica, wishing her a Merry Openermas three weeks early. "Openermas" is the forest animals' take on Christmas based on their veneration of Zach as "the Opener of Ways". The possum's response to Ink's joyous enthusiasm is sour, cynical, and belittling but she still accompanies her on her devotional mission. They go to a cave, where Ink is lighting candles to pray for help for her son, who got a fever the previous night. Jessica thinks they should save the candles and just get some penicillin. Ink knows that, but they sent Falstaff and Truck to get it. With that, Jessica agrees they might need some spiritual help, given that the bumbling duo are notoriously inept dimwits.
Back at Ink's tree, they take care of Ink's son, Tiny Tum. He says his mom told him he's going to be an angel. Jessica says that's just a lie to give him comfort. Ink gets furious with Jessica, telling her she shouldn't put the other animals down just because she doesn't believe in the Opener. Jessica storms off, wanting to tell Zach off.
On the way through the forest, Jessica stops at the Hermit's house. She is annoyed by the "unsolicited moralizing" in his limerick, but he tells her off.
As Jessica nears Babylon Gardens, a blizzard begins, and it gets colder. Jessica collapses in the snow. A figure approaches as she loses consciousness...
...she wakes up indoors, being tended to by Zach himself. She says his kindness does not change anything about her opinions of him. Every effort the rabbit makes to befriend her or explain his attempts to deny his status as "The Opener", Jessica twists into a manipulative trick to "convert" her to his cult. Eventually, Jessica gets preachy, accusing Zach of being a fraud. Of course, Zach is annoyed by this, as all the "Opener" nonsense has been done beyond his control. Jessica tells Zach about Tum, then bares her soul about how she thinks of this nonsense, and how waiting for miracles doesn't make anything better. She ends her lament in a tone deep personal almost existential disrepair. To her annoyance, Zach agrees with everything she says, thereby innocently dodging another barrage of invective with a show of kindness and empathy.
Zach eventually gets together some medical supplies and extra materials for Jessica to take back into the forest. Never letting her guard down, she responds to each act of generosity with some complaint, only to have Zach meet her gripe with more kindness. Finally, unable to exhaust the bunny's resources or his determined good will, she declares in exasperation. "You just have an answer for everything, don't you?".When she returns like a hero to Ink's home, she finds Truck made it back with penicillin. Tiny Tum would be okay. Truck says Falstaff got captured and relocated by Animal Control again. Jessica drops off what she brought, and leaves. Ink follows her and asks what's wrong. Jessica admits she didn't storm off to be a hero, and feels like her trip was for nothing. Ink assures her somebody will need what she brought back eventually.
On the actual Openermas day, Ink asks Jessica why she hasn't talked about him. Jessica says there's not much to say; in reality, he's a bit of a twerp, and a domestic animal can afford to be generous. On that, Ink gives Jessica one of the scarves she brought back as a gift, reminding her that "the Opener gave it to YOU." Jessica, still determined to be nobody's patsy, notes she's just going to give it back when someone else needs it.
But she accepts it, and eventually puts it on. She finally feels good about the gift, and whistles happily as she walks off.
- First appearance of Jessica and Custom Ink.
- Falstaff is relocated by animal control.
- The title of this arc is a reference to the famous newspaper article Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.