Rick & Morty (General Fic)
Dedicated to Sketchy Mess Adventures, who created Garbage Rick and gave me permission to write this story.

Characters in This Fic:

Fic Summary

“The increase of disorder, or entropy, is what distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time.” -- Stephen Hawking

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Art Gallery

This fic is a total homage to Garbage Rick, who was a character and a moment on tumblr started by Sketchy. Check out their blog on their tumblr! In addition to loads more of their own art and sketches of Garbage Rick & Slick, Sketchy has tagged and posted a ton of fandom art of Garbage Rick.

View Garbage Rick Art on Tumblr

Fic Endnotes:

The Ricklantis Mixup (S3e6): One of my all-time favorite episodes, literally this whole au is a reference to this one episode. But Nods to Morty Pride and the parade signage. While the starry Citadel AU doesn't have president Morty, I imagine Morty Pride Parades are a thing. One of the things I love about being able to explore the Citadel is to explore a character like Rick Sanchez as an everyday working-class protagonist.

Debtor Ricks: Is a concept that gets explored in Ozymandias in a bit more detail. But this fic makes comparisons to immigrant workers and dreamers. I always loved this concept of the Citadel as being made and occupied by an infinite amount of geniuses, yet still running into the societal and infrastructural problems of the US (specifically the economy of a democratic-capitalist nation). Carrying those ideas over to the Citadel, and considering how self-loathing Rick is (see TMTC), and how unbothered he is by the idea of “slavery with extra steps” the idea of Debtor Ricks came to focus to answer the idea of why Ricks might choose to go to the Citadel and stay. There are a few debtor ricks in the Starry AU, (Reverend Rick, and Radio Rick) but some are much more comfortable revealing this than others.

Rickport, & The Citadel Waste Flats: This starry AU specific location is in the industrial district. Lots of References to Mortytown and the Tourist District. There are also references to the abandoned sewer system of the Citadel, seen in RICO’s fic.

Gutter Punk: Slick’s going to Mortytown and Oh boi, is there a lot of setup here for that story with Punk and Loner Morty.

Metamorphosis: The Stand By Mortys are referencing the story that takes place in Metamorphosis, but for them it’s become a bit more folkloric than the events that actually happened. Slick also makes a brief appearance in this fic (When he was with his fourth Rick as Pocket Morty, trying too hard to act cool).

Garbage Rick: Garbage Rick belongs to Sketchymess Adventures over on Tumblr.

Squanchy Stories: A reference to Manager Rick’s favorite Erotica Adventure Paperback.

The Core: This is the pop-up music venue directly above Crowbar Rick’s Tavern, which you get to explore in Take Me to Church, Rick Work and Diamond Dogs

Time Sickness & Time: This is a whole thing in this AU.

Drummer Beth: This is a nod to the comics, and maybe also this band.

The Old Man and the Seat: Lots of nods to this episode.

Welcome to the Club: What is my purpose? You’re Garbage.

Straight Edge Punk Movement: Slick tells Garbage Rick that he is “Straight Edge” and does not drink (Although he still smokes). Straight edge (sXe, XXX, or X) is a subculture of hardcore punk whose adherents refrain from using recreational drugs, in reaction to the excesses of punk subculture. The term straight edge was adopted from the 1981 song "Straight Edge" by the hardcore punk band Minor Threat.

Rebel Without a Cause: Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban, middle-class teenagers. Watching this in 2020 is like waiting for it to turn into some weird erotica fic, but it never quite gets there. Kids have family issues. This was James Dean’s final performance, and for a weird fun fact, who Fry’s (Futurama) character design is based on.

Garbage Rick Tells Ponyboy to Stay Golden: The Outsiders is a coming-of-age novel by S. E. Hinton, first published in 1967 by Viking Press. The book details the conflict between two rival gangs divided by their socioeconomic status: the working-class "greasers" and the upper-class "Socs". The story is told in a first-person perspective by teenaged protagonist Ponyboy Curtis.

The Body (Book), Stand By Me (Movie): The Stand By Mortys are a direct reference to the Novella by Steven King and the movie adaptation. This fic has a lot of direct and indirect references throughout. The Loser’s Club is a trope in SK novels, and for anyone who has seen Stand By Me, Slick is a fusion of Chris and Teddy. Chris and Gordie are so damn gay for each other in the movie omg. This is from where the Specs/Slick UST was inspired.

Slick’s Military Background: In Stand By Me, Teddy’s father is a military Veteran with severe PTSD who regularly abuses him. Despite that, Teddy cares deeply about him and wants to live up to him. I wanted to bring some of that into Slick’s Character because the dog tags are such an important part of his character design.

FLCL (Fooly Cooly): This was one of those formative media for me growing up, and there is a lot of imagery and thematic exploration that nods to this show. The Never knows best cigarettes are a direct reference to this show.

Harry Potter: Professor Rickman. And the Hogwarts/Military Academy reference. There is only one house in this school. I mean, Hogwarts was lowkey preppin’ those kids for war.

Doctor Who: This was one of the first lines I wrote for this fic, and I’m so mad I couldn’t find a place for it so here is this random bit of dialogue I love:

Is there a place to take a shit out here?

“Yeah, there’s a porta-potty around here called a Turdis. It flies to you.” Rick gestured everywhere. "Honestly, the way it spins around, you'd be better off poppin’ a squat out here."

Entropy: It’s all energy. The entropy of an object is a measure of the amount of energy that is unavailable to do work. Entropy is also a measure of the number of possible arrangements the atoms in a system can have. In this sense, entropy is a measure of uncertainty or randomness. It increases over time.

Existentially Speaking: Everything is garbage in the end, so embrace the chaos and laugh at the absurdity. This fic tries to give a more positive nihilistic spin on it. Slick learns to acknowledge the truth of entropy but does not allow that knowledge to prevent him from engaging in the various forms of meaning he creates. Essentially, he takes on an “it was nice while it lasted approach”.

Core Reactor: In the Citadel episode you can see something like a star glowing in the bottom spire. I wanted to use this fic to figure out how a sustainable energy model would work in the citadel, and wanting to go there. I’m leaning on Nuclear Fission for the Core and the idea that the Citadel functions like a Dyson Sphere (powered by an artificial star).

Properties of Gold: I HC so hard that the gold color of the Citadel is real gold (or a compositional alloy of). The properties of gold make such a strong case for Ricks to choose it as a building material. And it’s also it’s gold of-fucking-course they would.

Time is Relative to Gravity: Garbage Rick feels the gravitational-atmospheric pressure fluctuate, and claims that time feels faster as you get older is a thing. Time moving slower as Garbage Rick and Morty move closer to the core is also based on the science of time and gravity. Time Dilates in the core. This book is a total existential mindfuck if you’re into that.

Gravitational Undercurrents: Totally inspired by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Call of the Void or the High Place phenomenon: This is a phenomena where non-suicidal people experience an urge to jump from high places (suicidal people can also experience it, but it’s interesting to explore in non-suicidal people because we get to explore how our brain glitches out during a fight or flight moment of danger. In the fic Morty has a call of the void phenomena when staring at the portal, but is terrified when climbing into the black hole. I’ll let you interpret that, but I wanted to explore those different reactions.

Theory of Value: The Citadel episode is a deep exploration of class divide, and so the overarching theme of this fic is an exploration of value. What is important to us and what does having value or valuing for something mean. Garbage Rick came to the Citadel because of Debt he couldn’t afford to pay off, and securing value in his daughter’s future. He surrounds himself with things that are no longer valued and runs into Slick who has stopped valuing himself. He takes Slick to the core reactor where the value of garbage is transformed and reminds the kid that value is an abstract concept that shifts and changes over time. From the existential perspective, nothing holds value to a human. But lining the Citadel Streets with gold is a nice touch.

Future Me Hates Me: The Beths. Nodding to the comics where Beth is in a band called Beth and the Beths. This is such a Young Beth/Jerry song. Change my mind.

Stand by Me: Lots of references to the song, the movie, the book, and the RAM episode. The song stand by me was originally a folk hymn, and I thought that was a nice connection for Specs because the harmonica was an instrument originally made to mimic the sound of a church organ. Slick draws this connection.

Melodramatic Morty: The merging of Music + Drama. You know I’m here for that.

An American Boy: Slick Morty is connected to the Military Rick of his grandfather, Greaser Rick’s Morty-hop Diner, Punk Morty’s punk anti-establishment proto-punk music, and Crowbar Rick’s 90’s grunge style. Because his character is based on Ponyboy Curtis, of The Outsiders and the working-class greaser movement, I wanted to give his playlist a more American lilt.

The American underground connected many of the post-modern punk, grunge, and metal bands producing music through independent record labels. I thought the eclectic outsider style, fit Slick very well. Although he’s been labeled, he’s not sure of who he is, or where he fits into the overall. This will really come into focus in Gutter Punk.

Garbage Rick is upbeat but also fighting off a daily dose of depression about how his life has ended up. He’s made his peace with it, but he is still caught up in that sense of existential boredom. Chill rock blends well with Slick’s American Underground music and is a good musical fit for him.

Entropy Playlist

Slick Morty's character is closely connected to Greaser Rick’s Morty-hop Diner, Punk Morty’s punk anti-establishment proto-punk music, and Crowbar Rick’s 90’s grunge style. Because his character is based on the working-class greaser movement, and specifically the character of Ponyboy Curtis, of The Outsiders, I wanted to give his playlist a more American lilt.

Third-Wave Punk

The American underground connected many of the post-modern punk, grunge and metal bands producing music through independent record labels. I thought the eclectic outsider style, fits Slick very well. Although he’s been labeled, he’s not sure of who he is, or where he fits into the overall big picture.