The Starry Citadel AU

The surrounding cosmos is as cold and indifferent as it is beautiful. As Carl Sagan put it: We are the beings through which the universe gets to experience itself. Humans are the sensory organ of the universe. Many of the stories in this AU explore thematic meaning in a similar way.


At The End of Eternity (Time-Space)

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 (Weird Rick), founder of the Citadel and inventor of the portal gun who opened the multiverse for isotope 322 scavenging.

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.

Central Finite Curve (CFC) & Dimensional Timeline Splits

Explored in Afterlife

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 essence 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 classification.

They Messed with Time

Explored in Take Me to Church, Diamond Dogs, Entropy, Metamorphosis,

Because it exists in the 6th dimension, time is an artificial system in the Citadel that is selectively controlled. On the Citadel, time is extremely decelerated. 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 the age 30-40 (A few years after Beth’s birth) with the help of his interdimensional counterparts as a means to fight the GF and to 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 (400yrs). Citadel time moves at about 10% of Earth’s time.

Weird Rick (Young C-137 Rick)

Explored in Ozzymandias, Take Me to Church,

CF Rick, is Weird Rick, who is Rick C-137: In the Evil Morty Episode (S1E10). Morty, assumedly speaking through Evil Rick, refers to one of the Ricks on the evil spectrum as "Suuupper Wierd." Initially we thought this was a joke about C-137 being super weird, because Rick and Morty had changed realities, but C-137 says “I get it, So what do you want me to team up with you and take down the council of Ricks. Is that where you’re going with this? That’s where I’d be going.”

What makes this worth pointing out, however, is that later, during in the Rickshank Redemption episode (S3E7), we see a flashback where a Rick arrives via portal to speak with Blue-pants Rick, claiming “I didn’t… I did” just as Weird Rick shows up on screen. The show later lists his name as "Weird Rick" both in the cast and the Pocket Mortys game. Why list the character with the name "Weird" in S3E7, when he's not even called “Weird Rick” in the episode he appears in. S1E10 is the only instance where Rick is described by another Rick as "weird"

The Starry AU running theory is that Weird Rick is actually Rick C-137, and the flashback the viewers saw was accurate, but we were led/conned (by Rick C137) to believe that blue pant's Rick was "our" Rick in the flashback, when it was really Weird Rick (Rick offers the information that he used to wear blue pants to lead us on -- a classic con.). Rick's reactions are potentially of regret or shame for his past actions of being ruthless and killing another Rick’s Diane and Beth.

Weird Rick's photo is also seen on the wall of the Morty Academy in S3E7, so it could be assumed that Weird Rick may have been involved in the early Morty academy or the Citadel. If he was some sort of founder, it would make sense with Rick’s character – why he was “Against the idea of the Citadel from the beginning”, and his motivations to destroy it in S3E1. It also makes sense why the council of Ricks refer to him as the Rogue in S1E10.

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.

Portal Tech

Explored in Metamorphosis, Ozzymandias, RICO, Club 322, Paradise Lost, Miami Vice

Portal Tech is the primary resource of the Citadel’s economy. Ricks who control megaseed production and isotope 322 in the Citadel are powerful and usually can 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. There is a popular alcohol in the Citadel called Proof 322. It is a glowing green cocktail named after the rare isotope.

The CF Rick realized his dimension was running out of isotope 322, and began scavenging the next dimension’s resources. This eventually led to a Rick-created inter dimensional resource scarcity, which led to the Citadel centralizing and controlling the interdimensional resource. This created the foundation for the machinations of the Citadel society and led to the socio economic caste system.

Portal Gun

Here’s a quick link that explains my HC for how Ricks’ portal gun works using Quantum Mechanics.

Portal Fluid

This is my headcannon for the properties of Portal Fluid. Something that exists somewhere between the three states.

Isotope 322

Portal fluid is the resource that allows Ricks to travel interdimensionally. It is made of the glowing green rock of isotope 322 (I-322, 322 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 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.

Megaseed Cytoplasm

In cannon the only known property of the Megaseed is the ability to give temporary super-intelligence, but after a short period of time, the super-intelligence wears off and the seed instead causes loss of motor and brain function for several days.

Also, what’s in Rick’s Flask?: Here the Starry AU headcannon combines a few cannon and fan theory elements to explain the purpose of the Ionic Difibulizer. Dan Harmon answered in an AMA that just pure vodka was in the flask, but Roiland gave us a more cryptic response. Fan’s speculated that in the pilot, the liquid running down Rick’s lips is the same green tint that Morty drools once the Megaseeds start dissolving in his intestinal tract.

In the Starry AU, Ricks use megaseed cytoplasm not for added intelligence, but to protect their bodies from the cannon radiation poisoning of uranium powered cellular matrices. in the pilot, having Morty rectally ingest the megaseed, could have potentially helped Morty build a natural resistance to Rick’s natural levels of radiation. Megaseeds could also be used as a necessary component of portal gun fluid manufacturing, which would explain why at the end of Ricklantis Mix Up, President Morty’s first move was to seize and control the megaseed farm (RIP after season 4 cannon explains all this, and kills these ideas)

Citadel Structure

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.

The stars are always visible through the glass dome, even through the artificial daylight.

Self Contained Ecosystem

Explored in Metamorphosis, Entropy

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.

The Central Dome:

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.

Citadel Wings

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. Interdimensional-catering businesses are centralized – tourist Ricks generally don’t visit locations outside of the central dome, and the Citadel prefers that.

Wayfinding and Direction:

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.”

Citadel Districts

The Tourist District (The Business & Commerce District)

Lifers avoid the tourist district like the plague. During Earth’s summer it floods with Ricks and Mortys vacationing and spending time there. Many businesses and sources of revenue rely on the in-dimensional services that can be provided to Ricks and Mortys. Daycare Rick, Surgeon Rick, Lab Rick, and The Morty Arena are all businesses that operate in this district.

Many Citadel Ricks will say something along the lines of “fuck, I need to go to labcoat square to run an errand.”

Silver Palm/South Beach (The Entertainment District)

The Silver Palm District is known for shopping and nightlife rick-stablishments on the Citadel. (hybrid between South Beach Miami and Vegas) It’s also the main entertainment district at night. Starry AU Businesses in this area are: Club 322 (Bootleg portal fluid and gatsby themed speakeasy), Lucky Star (strip club for the miami fic), The Wormhole (citadel sex club)

This is the only location in the Citadel that you can watch the sun rise and set, and Ricks pay top dollar for that luxury.

South Beach is the artificial ocean on the Y/Z wing of the Citadel. It makes a lot of money, but it's also part of the self contained ecosystem biome.

The Industrial District

The Citadel is also divided into upper and lower halves. The upper half is the city structure and in the lower half are the functions of the city systems. The Wishing Portal is the centralized garbage dump that portals garbage to the core to be repurposed into energy for the city. The waste and water systems are also managed on the lower level. Ricks working in this area refer to themselves as “bottom-feeder Ricks” and generally live in Rickport, the port that connects the two levels.

Many of the labcoat activist Ricks work in the industrial district. Most of them are named by dimensional ID tags.

Mortytown & Sanchez Heights

Following the arrival of Mortys, the Heights and Morty Town were separated into the two current existing neighborhoods. Because of this, they are fairly integrated, whereas, in other parts of the Citadel, there exists a more obvious segmentation. The setting for this fic takes place on the outer ring/lower class of the Citadel, and while social mobility is a strong motivator for Ricks and Mortys, it is generally a pipe dream, or very rare, that a Rick or Morty breaks into the inner circles through honest means.

The Inner Circle

The Inner Circle is the gated community of the Rick and powerful of the Citadel. The Council of Ricks and the communal portal are in this district at the very center of the Citadel's structure. This district operates under a completley different set rules.

Citadel Society

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.


The Citadel is a society of high-functioning alcoholics. Cirrhosis 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. Triple X (XXX) Is the main brand of alcohol sold on the Citadel.

Rickligion (Multiversalism)

Explored in Confirmation, Ozzymandias

The Infinite Rick

The Infinite Rick is a reference to the entire collective or species of Ricks as a single entity.

The Church of The Infinite Rick is pretty iconoclastic, but most heavily coded as following the rituals and practices of a Catholic denomination. The faith system is built around the ideas of theistic existentialist philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, and Jean-Paul Satre, and those philosophical explorations of are given a lens of authenticity through Grandfather Rick, but as a social institution the Rickligion has adapted to socially accommodate the Rick-centric worldview, and the resulting self-absorbed structures and various abuses of power push it into the territory of a cult.

Mortyism & Mortytracts:

In canon, the show uses the concept of the One True Morty, as their take on religion. The Church of the Infinite Rick is my much more Rick-centric side of an exploration that slots nicely against it. I wanted to dig into how religion as a social institution might form on the Citadel. Intentionally, it’s given ambiguity as the Church and our characters struggle with finding their place in it, individually and communally.

Economy, Commerce & Cryptocurrency

Explored in Does Robot Rick, RICO, Club 322, Paradise Lost, Miami Vice,

Portal Tech is the primary resource of the Citadel’s economy (See Portal Tech). Ricks who control megaseed production and isotope 322 in the Citadel are powerful and usually can 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.

The commerce system is based on unchecked capitalism. 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 top down.

Citadel Currency (CC) is paper and digital tender that mimics the USD (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.

Other forms of currency on the citadel include:

  • Flurbos (Used with the Galactic Federation)
  • Schmeckles (Primarily used by Mortys)

Citadel Citizenship

Explored in Take Me to Church, Diamond Dogs, Entropy, Metamorphosis,

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.

CFC Citadel Assignments

Mathematically speaking, the Hilbert curve works to define the specific limitations and characteristics of each Rick as well. This is how Ricks are able to discover a Rick’s core personality so quickly. The Council of Ricks use this measurement system of the CFC (Central Finite Curve) to recommend/assign Ricks and Mortys to lines of work in the Citadel

Dimensional Identification

A Dimensional ID is an equivalent to a social security number or a dimensional fingerprint. 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.

Ricksonas & Mortysonas:

The CFC Scanners measure the limits of each individual Rick. While helpful for assigning roles,

Generally dimension classification becomes less important to the sweeping generalizations about dimensional personality traits. Ricks will occasionally use dimension-based insults: “All you fuckin’ C-Ricks are pieces of shit”.

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.

Mortys are treated as second class citizens, but are still measured by the same systems as Ricks. They are generally assigned to a compatible Rick as an assistive role. Ricks generally treat Mortys on the Citadel as citizen adults.

Debtor Ricks

Explored in Entropy

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.

Many debtor-Ricks who finish their sentence choose to remain on the Citadel. Because of the time differences there is nothing or little to go back to. They have physically aged at 10% of Earth's time, while mentally they have been in the citadel for much longer. Their in-Earth counterparts seemingly move much slower. It's much harder to stay in contact because of this. (I.E. if Rick called Beth every citadel year, In earth's time, he would be calling her nearly every day)

Class Systems & Social Unrest

Explored in Take Me to Church, Gutter Punk, Entropy, DJ’s Mixtape

Social Mobility

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.

The Rick Get Richer

Explored in RICO, Club 322, Paradise Lost, Miami Vice

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.

Citadel Laws, Organized Crime & Corruption

Explored in Does Robot Rick, RICO, Club 322, Paradise Lost, Entropy, Miami Vice,

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).

Citadel Crime Syndicates

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.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a huge issue on the Citadel. Ricks who have come into the Citadel later understand the power structures, and the easiest way to climb up is to kill a Rick and take their place. While Ricks can use the Hilbert curve to trace the dimension of origination, generally it is an unenforced crime. Ricks don’t care. “If you can’t protect your identity, you deserve to have it taken.”

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.

Labcoat Activism

While most lifers on the Citadel lose their lab coats in favor of a new Ricksona, and use the term “Labcoat” to describe the tourist Ricks or vanilla Ricks living on the Citadel, many working-class Ricks who are unable to create a unique identity revert back to their dimensional name as an intentional claiming of unique identity, and don the lab coat to declare that they are still Ricks, and as such, are just as valuable as every other Rick on the Citadel.

While many Ricks have re-adorned their labcoat as a symbol of their freedom, the action can be interpreted as a very dark gesture by those on the Citadel. There is an implication that Citadel Ricks wear the lab coat when they have nothing left to lose. The lab coat then becomes a public demonstration of Rick’s embracing of this idea.


Citadel Expletives & Slurs

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.

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

Bottom feeder Ricks: Work on the lower-level.

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

Moty Insults: Yellow-Shirts, Ducky, Minion, Blondie, Big Bird,

Citadel Slang

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.

Beaucricksy: A Rick-eat-Rick world

Citadel Expressions

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.