The Starry Citadel

Even through the blue skies of an artificial day, the unending cosmos, looms heavy over daily life in the Citadel. Adventures are all peripheral, interconnected like constellations in the void.

Tourist District Silver Palm Sanchez Heights Morty Town The Industrial District The Inner Circle

Constellations in the Void

Starry AU fics tend to form clusters around location. Click on the above images to chart a reading course through the stars, or filter through the constellation clusters by ship, character, location, or rating over on Ao3.

Collection on Ao3 Citizen Directory Explore Citadel Districts

Interconnected Stories

Stories, Locations, and Characters are interconnected in this AU. The protagonist in one fic, might be the villan in another. Simmilarly, the cast of characters will cameo in various backgrounds. Below is a status list, and LHR's highlighted fic.


~40K Words, Complete

“Sometimes science is more art than science, Morty. A lot of people don’t get that."

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Characters in this fic:


60K Words, Ongoning

Morty Starts to question his faith in the Church of the Infinite Rick.

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Take Me to Church

100k Words, Complete

R owns a small record store and lives within the ritualistic parameters of a routine, daily life...

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Characters in this fic:

Citadel Citizens

Aw Jeez Rick, it's starting to look like one of those Brady Bunch episodes in here.
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Citadel Systems

Click each category tag to read about the various worldbuilding and universe-specific headcanons for the Starry AU.

Structure & Design

The design is named after a Fortress Citadel, but it functions more like a panopticon. The central dome is reserved for business, commerce, and the residences. The Central dome is divided into rings. The innermost is for the select few richest and upper class Ricks in the Citadel. The Council of Ricks are at the very center of the structure.

Wayfinding and Direction:

The domes on each arm correspond with the branches of military, industry, and business. Residential neighborhoods are sprinkled in all areas. But the majority are in the Central dome, integrated within the entertainment districts on the outer rings, the large government offices and the tourist district towards the center.

The central dome is divided into rings, and only certain Ricks are allowed in the inner rings. (like playgrounds for the rich) This is functional too, because the inner ring protects the central portal. And interdimensional-catering businesses are centralized – tourist Ricks generally don’t visit locations outside of the central dome, and the Citadel prefers that.

North, and South, do not exist (Aside from their use in names, which are non-functional I.E. “East Sanchez Heights”). Uptown refers to the locations closer to the axis of the Citadel, where downtown refers to locations in the outer rings. East and West are directional, however, correlate with the clockwise and counterclockwise spin of the Citadel's rotation.

Ricks use X, Y, Z, wings to describe the which arm they are referring to. I.E. “Head towards the Z wing and and take the exit.”

Self Contained Ecosystem

The Citadel exists as a self contained ecosystem. Ricks refer to it as living in “a fishbowl”. The biome recycles air and water systems. The central dome has water running through the entire city. This is both a cooling mechanism and a means of water collection/harvesting. There are a lot of green spaces in the Citadel as a function to create oxygen.

Class Systems & Social Unrest

The richest Ricks are generally the oldest (By means of time spent on the Citadel) and control most of the commerce systems. The wealth distribution is heavily stratified because the Ricks in power continue to control the other Ricks and the artificial money-making systems. They also control the centralized communal portal. If not for the class stratification, and the artificially created resource scarcity, the Citadel would be considered a post-scarcity economy.

There is a social divide between Ricks and Mortys. Morty's are treated as second class citizens and Ricks often express resentment towards them.

Portal Fluid

Portal fluid is the resource that allows Ricks to travel inter-dimensionally. It is made of the radioactive ore Isotope 322 (I-322, 322, three twenty-two, three two two), safer to find, but rare - insanely hard to make, which is to say it is not impossible, but the risks far outweigh the benefit of being a 6th dimensional being.

Isotope 322

Isotope 322 is an interdimensionaly scarce resource, and a highly controlled substance on the Citadel. Ricks who control 322 in the Citadel are powerful and can generally be found in the inner circles of the central dome. Debtor Rick's are brought into the Citadel so that their dimension’s isotope 322 can be scavenged.

Commerce & Cryptocurrency

The commerce system is based on unchecked capitalism. While social mobility is a strong motivator for Ricks & Mortys, it is generally a pipe dream, or very rare that a Rick breaks into the inner circle (through honest means: see identity theft). Ricks and Mortys end up laterally moving around the Citadel in various roles. “The Curve Fucked the Draw.” Is a phrase Ricks use to express discontent with their recommended/assigned life on the Citadel. Mortys and Ricks are not required to remain in a single role for life, but the force of the Central Finite Curve (CFC) Measuring System advocates that it is able to find the most compatible role for them.

Citadel Currency (CC) is paper and digital tender (paper because Rick's just like to flaunt their wealth in a tangible way, but also illegal transactions). The Citadel economy and currency is based around the valuation of portal fluid. External commerce uses the Galactic Federation Flurbo, (and it's valuation of portal fluid), for the standard exchange rate. This is used by the citadel and underground elite.

While Digital CC credits have encryption, Etherium is the Citadel's Cryptocurrency, used by the elite of the black market economies. Many of the underground economies flow from the top down. For example: bootleg portal fluid is a thriving underground business that is perpetuated from the elite.

The Citadel Police Force (CPF)

The police force is trained to keep the general peace, has a detox box and a jail. But it's mostly for show. It's a corrupt business model. Their primary job is to quell and manage the political unrest that is increasingly dividing the classes.

The Citadel Guard & Military Ricks

Military Ricks operate both C-side and starside from the Citadel. They have a bit of a reputation for feeling a bit disenchanted. Constantly moving between the different time systems of the Citadel and planets at different speeds tends to make things feel surreal. When stationed C-side, they usually spend their time in the tourist district or silver palm.

Seal Team Ricks

Seal Team Ricks are the special operations unit of the Citadel military. The are working for the higher-ups in the military, and don’t ask questions. They are fighting the Galactic Federation in a variety of dimensions and killing or securing valuable Ricks as Debtor-Ricks.

Citadel Sanchez Investigators (CSI)

The FBI Equivalent in the Citadel. Investigates internal issues of the rich and powerful Ricks, (Namely the bootleg portal fluid, it's really the only issue the Citadel actually cares about).

Organized Crime & Corruption

The Citadel Mafia, the Citadel Cartel, and the Silver Palm Outfit are the largest powers operating in the Citadel shadows, each with their own distinct philosophies and objectives. There are contraband smugglers, and the booming black-market business of bootleg portal fluid is an indicator of the strong desire to leave.

Petty Crime

Disgruntled Ricks causing havoc in the city and Rick suicide is very common on the Citadel. Ricks check into the Citadel, but they don't check out. There is a popular phrase “The only way out of the Citadel is by airlock.” AKA the only freedom is death.


The Citadel is a society of high-functioning alcoholics. Chirrosis and Withdrawal are often causes of death. Most Rick's are passing as normal, but they are functioning at 2-3 times their blood alcohol level.

Identity Theft

Portal gun pickpocketing is also an issue but follows the same rules. Ricks coming to the Citadel know there is an inherent risk, and are generally encouraged to stay in the tourist district. A few braver Ricks travel into the Citadel.

Population Rates & Death

The unaging, infinitely growing population remains stable because death is still common. Thanks to Citadel Technology which is able to preserve life and cure most disease, most Ricks and Morty's elect to die by choice. Murder is decriminalized (On paper it's illegal), and Ricks and Mortys take numerous measures to protect themselves. For the rich, this means living in the inner circles. It’s very self-sufficient, and the mentality is that if you can’t protect it, you don’t deserve to keep it. Like with identity, this includes life.

Rick Citizenship

The microcosm of the Citadel causes an identity crisis with Ricks, leading them to find what really makes themselves different or bitterly focus on what makes them all the same. Personas and nicknames become popular on the Citadel as a means of differentiation. Mortys are more freely able to create unique identities and personalities that, instead of reflecting their assignment/businesses, reflect what they like about themselves.

Morty Citizenship

Similar to the Galactic Federation Controlled Earth in Rickshank Redemption, where Morty’s age jumps to 35 in the new Earth society, Mortys on the Citadel enjoy the full legal status of an adult citizen. While Ricks interact with Mortys as if they are citizen adults, they are still, nonetheless, treated as second-class citizens in many instances. They are generally assigned to a compatible Rick as an assistive role.

Debtor Ricks, Indentured Servants

There is no formal division between debtor-Ricks and working-class Ricks because a Ricks’ value is ultimately determined by dimension, and how that applies within the microcosm of the Citadel. Ricks who voluntarily enter the Citadel generally lead more stable lives, and some are given the option to run their own businesses, but this is not guaranteed.

Dimensional Identification

A Dimensional ID is an equivalent to a social security number. The Council of Ricks use Central Finite Curve (CFC) Scanners to dimensionally trace a Rick or Morty's dimensional ID, which is then able to measure a Rick or Morty's aptitude and recommend/assign an ideal line of work in the Citadel. (Accepting a Citadel assignment is optional, even for debtor Ricks) The Citadel Police or CSI investigators, or members of the Military will sometimes use mobile CFC scanners, but only when they have detained a person of interest. Dimensional Tracing technology utilizes valuable isotope 322.

Labcoat Activism

Factory and worker Ricks who have re-adorned their labcoat as a symbol of their freedom. Most lifers on the Citadel lose their labcoats in favor of a new Risksona, using the term “labcoat” to describe the tourist ricks or vanilla ricks. However, many factory workers who are unable to create a Ricksona revert to their dimensional name, and don the labcoat to celebrate that they are still Ricks, and just as valuable as every other Rick on the Citadel. It is very dark however that Most Rick's adorn the labcoat when they have nothing left. It is a public embracing of that.

At The End of Eternity

The Citadel is hidden in the 6th dimension. This is why Ricks from multiple timelines/dimensions in the multiverse can interact without creating time paradoxes. It exists outside of the constraint of time, and the only viable method of exit or entry to the Citadel is by portal.

The 6th Dimension

The 6th dimension is the limitation that defines all Ricks on the Central Finite Curve. All inter-dimensional Ricks are measured against this single point/timeline of origin. This Rick is known affectionately as the Central Finite Rick (Wierd Rick), founder of the Citadel and inventor of the portal gun who opened the multiverse for isotope 322 scavenging. In the measurements of this specific 6th dimension, there are no infinite variations of citadels, there is only the one.

Dimensional Timeline Splits

Rick’s multiverse of dimensions, all derive from a single point-of-origin timeline, (Like branches of the same tree). Weird Rick (C-137) is known as the Central Finite Rick, or the trunk of the timeline tree. All Ricks are measured against the first iteration (The Central Finite Rick) in an alphabetical system approaching infinity, which is loosely based on the Hilbert curve. The measurement ends (Z) when the essense of a Rick is no longer identifiable.

A-Z dimensional classification in action: If “A” dimension was the original timeline/iteration of the CF Rick, then C would be the third significant iteration from A, C-137 would be a 137th deviation of the third significant iteration, and C-137b would be a slight shift of the deviation of the iteration, and C137β7 (Or J19ζ7) would be the seventh order of the previous classifications.

They Messed with Time

Because it exists in the 6th dimension, time is an artificial system in the Citadel that is selectively controlled. Ricks age so slowly on the Citadel that it is nearly imperceptible. Timekeeping systems are an attempt to instill a sense of familiarity and normalcy. (Keeping the 12-hour Earth system/seasons for comfort but it is very arbitrary). This is referred to as CST (Citadel Standard Time)

It's estimated that The CF Rick founded the Citadel around 30-40 (A few years after Beth’s birth) with the help of his interdimensional counterparts as a means to fight the GF and protect and mine isotope 322. The “Oldest Ricks” have lived on the Citadel for ~40 years, though because of the slower time, it feels much longer. Citadel time moves at about 10% of Earth’s time.

President Morty

President Morty has not yet happened in this AU. This is because exploring social unrest is a theme of many of the Starry AU stories.

Citadel Assignments

This AU-specific Headcanon affects much of the in-verse dynamics. Ricks and Mortys are assigned to a line of work on the Citadel based on their Central Finite Scanner Aptitude. While stll a choice to accept a citadel assignment, most citizens do not challenge the CFS scanner.

Rick Slang & Vernacular

Labcoat Ricks, Labcoats: A slur against Tourist Ricks visiting the Citadel. Equivalent to a “vanilla” or basic, or unoriginal Rick living on the Citadel who hasn’t shed his dimensional identity for a persona.

Left-Handed Ricks: Rumor has it that Ricks who prefer using their left hand have an inherent sub streak. Ask a left-handed Rick and they'll get huffy, before telling you they're ambidextrous and it's bullshit.

Citadel Slang & Vernacular

Bottom feeder Ricks: Work on the lower level.

Lifers: Ricks and Mortys who are permanent residents of the Citadel.

Debtor Rick, Debtor: A Rick who is an indentured servant to the Citadel, paying off a debt.

Ricklationship Used by both Ricks and Mortys to describe romantic relationships with a Rick partner.

Rickstablishment A covert way to designate a business as rick-owned.

Rick City, Vice City, Silver Palm Alternate names for the Silver Palm District. Although it is part of the Citadel, it feels otherworldly.


Time Dysphoria: Refers to the dysphoric sense of time. A common feeling of dissonance on the Citadel due the artificial time systems. Past and present become blurred, and time can seem to pass too quickly or not at all.

Lawless Citadel, Baby!: This is a reference to the Wild West feeling of the city.

The Fishbowl: Reference to the self-contained world of the Citadel

Proof 322: There is a popular alcohol in the Citadel called Proof 322. It is a glowing green alcohol named after the rare isotope.


Rick Insults: Blues, Rickholes, Mortyfuckers, Rickoffs, Labcoat, Blue Noser, RickDick, Rick-pig, Rick-sheep

Moty Insults: Yellow-Shirts, Minions, Little Creeps


Mortys, plural. Group reffered to as a cluster (like cells or stars).
Ricks, plural. Group reffered to as a group of. The name, which traditionally expresses an individual identity is reduced to an overall categorizaton on the Citadel.


Visit the Starry AU blog on Dreamwidth to read episode analysis, show discussion as well as fic brainstorming and WIP drabbles. Find LHR on Twitter.

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Jan 5, 2019
Drabbles 2020!

Welcome to the new year! Because I really like to write stories that have that full circle narrative structure, I tend to write really slow. Or I have a lot of snippets, scenes, drabbles that are polished, but are not yet a whole (publishable) fic. I'm going to start posting these scenes/drabbles here on the fic pages for those of you who follow my work! I'm planning to work on afterlife and oneshots for Jan & Feb. Keep an eye out for updates, and follow my twitter for any of the updates to the fic pages!


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