A Tale from the Citadel.
Cop Rick was new to the job. He was a rookie. The new cop on the block. Well he wasn't a cop yet. He was still in training and still learning the ropes but he did have minimal assignments that he did for now. They were like little tests. Each one was a stepping stone leading to the position of full time cop. He was almost done. He was almost there. He just needed a few more assignments that would lead to him getting more credits. Then he would graduate. He couldn't wait. Mostly because he was bored out of his mind with these mediocre jobs they kept giving him.
Give parking tickets, inspect clubs for any illegal activity, do patrolling on a highway to catch for speeding cars, inspect even more clubs. He was really sick of that last one. That Miami Rick guy was a real shady piece of shit.
Cop Rick sighed. It had been a slow day. Today he was stuck behind a desk, filling in for another cop who was on vacation. He had about two more hours until his shift was over and then he could go home. He stared at the clock on the wall, counting down the minutes. He was exhausted. His eyes shut. Maybe if he could just rest his eyes.
"Hey, wake up dip-ass. You're on the job." Another cop Rick stood annoyed in front of his desk.
Cop Rick's eyes snapped open and he rubbed them. "Sorry." The other Rick held a paper out towards him which Cop Rick blinked at but took. "What's this?"
"You've got an assignment."
"No shit. Get going." the other Rick turned to leave, sipping from his flask.
"What kind of assignment is it?" Cop Rick stood up, looking the paper over.
"Dead Morty in- URP -Mortytown." he said with a belch. "What else is new?"
Cop Rick's shoulders slumped at that. It was always a tragedy when a Morty died. He didn't know how others were so immune to it. "What happened to him?"
"Suicide." he answered carelessly. "Any more questions? Want me to do y-your- your job for you too? Address is on the paper I just gave you." he said as he walked away. "Don't fall asleep while driving. Dumbass."
Cop Rick read over the paper in his hand. It didn't say much. It was just a police report saying how a Morty was dead and the address was listed.
He folded the paper and stuffed it into his pocket as he left the police station. He got into his car and drove to Mortytown.
Mortytown wasn't the proudest part of the citadel. It was a rundown town full of rundown Morty's and the occasional Rick. Mostly it was home to Rickless Morty's and Rick's who had run down on their luck. It was a cheap place to live if you didn't have a Beth or Jerry or Summer in your own dimension to live with for whatever reason and you had a Morty to take care of.
This wasn't his first trip to Mortytown as he had quite a few assignments here already. It was mostly to prevent rogue Morty gang violence or to stop a junkie Rick from making a disturbance.
Many Rick's and Morty's steered clear of Mortytown for their own good and mostly because who the hell wanted to go there in the first place? The place sucked.
Cop Rick arrived on the outskirts of Mortytown, starting to drive slower as he entered. He looked out his windshield and window. The place was the same as he remembered it. Filthy, disgusting, rundown. A real slum. It was awful. And it was filled with Rick's and Morty's although there were certainly more Morty's than Rick's. All of them dirty with sunken in faces, gaunt and malnourished. It tore at Cop Rick's heart.
There wasn't any kind of program designed to help the less fortunate on the citadel. They were just pointed to the direction of Mortytown and told that if they thought they were going to starve to death to find the nearest airlock.
The system was obviously flawed and broken. That much was obvious.
Cop Rick tried his best to point those he encountered in Mortytown in the right direction. He told the Rick's to use their skills to their advantage or maybe look for work in a factory at the least. They just drunkenly told him to piss off. He told the Morty's to try to get into Morty school for reassignment to a new Rick. Some still polite Morty's said they'd try and the more hardened Morty's who were decidedly anti-Rick also told him to piss off.
He wished he could do more for them but the citadel really didn't care about its' challenged citizens. It was a shame.
Cop Rick sighed to himself as he pulled up to the address on the paper. This was the place. There were already other cop Rick's on the scene and the front door of the place was open. So this Morty obviously didn't die in a back alley or on the streets or something from an overdose. He hadn't jumped in front of a car either apparently.
It looked like this Morty lived in a rundown apartment. Which was actually worse. That meant this Morty probably had a Rick. It was unlikely the Morty could have afforded rent by himself unless maybe he lived with other Morty's? Some Morty's flocked together to get by like a school of fish or those people who answered questions on Yahoo Answers.
Cop Rick parked and stepped out of the vehicle, taking his notepad from out of pocket. He would have to take a statement from any potential witnesses.
He walked up to another cop Rick who was standing around outside the building.
"Hey I'm here to take the statements." Cop Rick said.
The other Rick looked at him with much disinterest. He jabbed a thumb behind him and didn't say anything. He just sipped from his flask.
Cop Rick nodded and went through the open door, into the small house. It wasn't much but it was functional he guessed. Someone was definitely living here.
Inside there were two more Rick's in uniform. They were sitting on the couch watching illegal satellite television of all things. Seriously? They were supposed to be on the job.
"Uh hey? Here to take the statement for the dead Morty and to see the body." Cop Rick said over to them.
The two Rick's didn't even turn their heads and one of them jabbed a thumb further into the house. "Fur-URP-furthest bedroom in the b-URP-ack."
Cop Rick rolled his eyes with a grumble and went to the back bedroom. It was the only bedroom. So maybe this Morty had lived here alone after all? Maybe he got the money to pay the bills through illegal means? He would have to report on that too.
The door was slightly shut and was decorated with pictures and posters. Cop Rick raised part of his monobrow as he looked over the pictures. They were of a Rick and his Morty, smiling and laughing and just living. Maybe this Morty lost his Rick? And he couldn't take it anymore and offed himself?
The rest of the door was decorated in glow in the dark stars and other space themed stuff but he was completely focused on the pictures. They looked so happy.
Cop Rick shook his head, tearing his eyes away from the photographs. It was late. He had a job to do. He didn't get paid to care about these things. Hell he hardly got paid at all. He pushed open the door.
As soon as he walked into the bedroom he saw the body, simply hanging from the ceiling fan. Definitely a Morty. Definitely dead.
No matter how prepared he thought he was for this, his stomach still dropped and his chest tightened.
Cop Rick looked away and looked around. The dead Morty wasn't alone in the room. There were two more Rick's inside. One was another officer, a forensic specialist, standing off to the side and the other was in plain clothes sitting on a chair with his back towards a computer desk.
He looked around the room. It was nice for the most part. Despite the peeling paint and somewhat moldy smell it was an average bedroom for a 14 year old boy.
"Hey I'm here to take the statement." Cop Rick told one or both of the Rick's. He didn't know if he had interrupted a conversation or something between them but he needed this statement to take back to the department.
The forensic Rick in uniform waved a hand. "Go ahead."
Cop Rick suppressed his irritation and got ready his notepad to take notes. "What happened?" He asked.
The forensic Rick raised his monobrow and looked at him skeptically. "What-what happened?" he repeated. "Are you fucking blind? You-you got a hanging body here and you don't know what happened?"
Cop Rick glared back at him. "I need details. Like what led up to this." He said.
"Well how the fuck should I know why- why this little shit decided to play auto erotic asphyxiation on himself?" said the forensic scientist.
Cop Rick raised his brow and his pen. "Is that what happened?"
"No. Gross." the other officer Rick made a face and sipped from his flask.
"Well how do you know?" Cop Rick asked.
"Suicide- URP-note." Forensic Rick burped and pointed to the piece of paper that was clutched in the non uniformed Rick's hand.
Cop Rick took a moment to take this other Rick in. He was balding way more than normal Rick's were and the bags under his eyes much more prominent. Most likely not getting any sleep and not eating enough. His eyes were dead, just completely lacking of the joy of life.
"Are you with the department?" Cop Rick asked as he tried to take the note from his hand. The guy was holding it tight and he practically had to pry it out of his hand.
"No." the Rick said quietly.
Cop Rick looked him over again. He was in factory clothing. He obviously worked in a factory. He had a hair net sticking out of his pocket. "We can't have civilians interfering in investigations. You have to go outside."
The factory Rick slowly stood up, glancing up at the dead Morty and staring at it with sadness.
Cop Rick finally looked down at the suicide note. It was on a corner piece of crumpled blueprint paper that had been torn off. There was a small note scrawled in oddly enough neat handwriting. It wasn't written with a shaky hand or anything that might suggest erratic thought. This note was written calmly.
I'm sorry, Rick. Things will be easier now. You'll see. Go on those adventures. :) -Morty.
Cop Rick blinked at the words. The hidden meaning obviously made no sense to him. But he was focused on the first part.
'I'm sorry, Rick…'
Cop Rick looked shocked up at the factory Rick. "You're...his Rick?" He felt his chest tighten and even twist this time.
The other officer Rick in the room rolled his eyes. "No duh. Can you take your damn statement from him so- URP- so we can all go home? Damn." He chugged from his flask. It was 8 at night and he wanted to go home. He had a life. And this dead piece of shit was starting to smell. He just wanted to cut him down and toss him in the airlock already. That reminded him, he had to take pictures of the scene. He pulled out his camera.
Meanwhile Cop Rick rushed over to the factory Rick with concern, taking his arm. "I'm sorry for your loss." He started.
Behind them, the forensic scientist groaned in disgust at the display of sincerity. He started carelessly snapping pictures of the dead Morty.
"Why isn't a crisis counselor here?" Cop Rick asked the other cop.
"Uh because we don't do that shit anymore." the other officer said, flashing photos. "Rick's aren't pussies and it was a waste of funding."
"What about Morty's?" Cop Rick asked. He disagreed that Rick's shouldn't need counseling when something traumatic happened. He didn't even know the crisis counselors had all been let go. But what did they do for traumatized Morty's at least?
"If a Rick is worth anything, he has a memory wiping device to use on a Morty that's- URP- pissing his bed 'cause he saw something he wasn't supposed to." answered the scientist, deep in thought before snapping a picture of Cop Rick and factory Rick to add to the file.
Cop Rick held a hand up to his eyes to shield the flash. "Enough!" he pulled the factory worker out of the bedroom and to the living room. He needed a quiet and not stressful place to conduct this interview. He eyed the two other officers watching television like they owned the damn place. "I need this space for my interview." He said to them.
"No." said one Rick, without turning around.
"Piss off." said the other.
Cop Rick huffed and pulled the balding Rick out onto the sidewalk. He led him to the step and sat him down then sat down beside him. "Sorry about that. Do you need anything? Water? Vodka?"
"N-no thanks." said the factory worker. "I don't drink…"
Cop Rick looked surprised. It wasn't often that he found a Rick that didn't drink alcohol. But there were infinite possibilities in the multiverse. Anything was possible. Including a non inebriated Rick. He himself didn't drink on the job or carry around a flask but he did drink at home. It helped him forget the stress of his job. He stared at the menial worker, feeling incredibly sorry for him. He worked a bad job and now his Morty was gone…
Cop Rick pulled back out his notepad. His job really didn't get any easier. "I need you to tell me what happened. You can take your time. Were you the one who found him?"
The Rick wouldn't meet his gaze. He just stared down at the sidewalk. "Y-yeah...I just came home from- from work and found him. I didn't take him down. I knew it was too late. I...called the police." He said calmly.
Cop Rick nodded and wrote that down. That was simple enough. He could definitely rule out foul play from everything he had seen. This was definitely a regular suicide. "You both live in this house alone." He said. "You and your Mort-" he winced. "Uh you and him."
"Yes." He said. "It was just us."
"How long have you been living on the citadel?"
"Three- three years."
"Where do you work?"
"I'm a filling machine operator at a brewery." He told him.
Cop Rick had heard of Rick's who didn't drink before but never ones that didn't drink that worked at a factory that actually made alcohol. You got a discount on booze when you worked at a place like that. Some or most even snuck free alcohol. "Did he work?"
"Morty? No." Rick shook his head. "He was studying. And I homeschooled him when I got home from work. I was saving up to send him to college when the time came."
Cop Rick couldn't help his shoulders from going slack. This actually might be the most selfless Rick he's ever encountered. Homeschooling earth teachings? Saving up for his Morty's college? Was this Rick even a Rick? He shook his head and tried to continue asking his questions.
"Look there's no easy way to ask this." Cop Rick began. "Did he suffer from any mental issues?"
"No. He didn't." the factory Rick looked down in dismay at that.
"There were no signs he was going to..-"
"No!" the balding man cried. "I don't know! I was at work all the time! I did everything to make him happy! I couldn't take him on the adventures he wanted. I had to w-work!" he sighed. "But this..I know this is my fault."
"W-what do you mean?" Cop Rick looked at him with suspicion.
"We had a fight before I left for work." the Rick said, eyes looking all the more sunken and dull. He looked so tired. "He wanted to go on an adventure like how we used to before we came to the citadel. But I couldn't. I-I had to work. We argued. He said it was like all I did was work and ignore him. I...I told him it would be easier if I didn't have him around. Then I could go on those adventures. But I...I didn't mean.." Tears fell from his eyes as he buried his face in his hands. "God I didn't mean it…!" he sobbed. "I was so...I'm so tired...so tired…"
Cop Rick listened to the man's heart wrenching sobs in silence. The suicide note felt heavy in his front shirt pocket. It repeated in his head.
I'm sorry, Rick. Things will be easier now. You'll see. Go on those adventures. :) -Morty.
Cop Rick finished up his report quickly and told the other officers he was finished. They did finished up their own jobs after that. They took the body of the Morty and all other evidence for the file.
Soon it was just Cop Rick and Factory Rick standing in the doorway of the house.
"Are...are you sure you don't need anything?" Cop Rick asked, not too comfortable with just leaving without a care like the others. If he could do something for the man to help then he wanted to do it.
The Rick looked a bit distant but he answered with a small smile. "Think you could take me to a bar?"
Cop Rick smiled in surprise. He took this as a good sign. A Rick wanting to drink. That was on the road to normalcy. "Sure, of course." So Cop Rick took him to the nearest bar and even sat with him for a while.
They talked about the Rick's life and what led him to the citadel and how he had to take care of his Morty. It turns out the Federation had come back for revenge on this Rick and tried to kill his family. They killed everyone but him and Morty and then they had to go on the run. They traveled from dimension to dimension searching for a new home but never found one. That was when they discovered the Citadel of Rick's. It was an opportunity for them to live a steady life and they took it. Even though Rick had to work he gladly did it for him and his Morty. He had planned on going back to his dimension when it was time for Morty to start college. He still wanted Morty to have a normal rest of his life besides all that happened. He had given the citadel a bunch of information on the Federation of his dimension to help keep tabs on them. He was being paid as an informant on top of his wages he got from working at the factory.
By the time they finished talking it was almost 1am and the citadel's artificial sunlight was long turned off.
The Rick held his alcohol well however. He was drunk but he was steady on his feet and seemed to be thinking clearly. As if he accepted something in the time that they've been at the bar.
Cop Rick was glad for that. Maybe the guy would get back on his feet after all. So he drove the guy home. Before he got out of the car he put a hand on the man's shoulder. "I'm really sorry about your Morty. Are you going to be okay?"
Something flashed over Factory Rick's face for a split second. The sadness was there but he gave a kind of hopeful smile. "Yeah." He said. "Yeah I'm going to be okay. I'm going on an adventure."
Cop Rick chuckled as the other Rick got out of his police car. The Rick giving him a wave before going into his house. He waited for the door to shut before giving a tired sigh. He looked at his watch. It was late and he had work in the morning again.
He headed home and slept for three hours. His alarm woke him up and with a groan he rolled out of bed. He went to work.
It was around twelve noon when that same Rick cop from the day before threw him another assignment paper with a belch.
"What's this?" Cop Rick scrambled to catch the paper as it was thrown at him.
"URP! Dead Rick in- URP- Mortytown." He said and walked off. "You're getting allll the good ones this week. Have fun!"
Cop Rick felt his chest twist again and this time it did somersaults.
When Cop Rick drove to the exact same address as yesterday and walked into the exact same house, his worst suspicions were confirmed. He stared numbly down at the dead body of the Rick from last night. Plasma bullet through the skull. He lay right on the floor underneath the ceiling fan, having fallen right out of the chair he had been sitting in not 24 hours before.
"He couldn't have done this before we left yesterday?" asked the forensic Rick also from yesterday, grumbling. "Could have saved us another trip all the way out here." He burped as he snapped photographs. "Inconsiderate- URP-piece of shit…"
Cop Rick said nothing in response.
The report was simple enough to fill out. Suicide. No witnesses. No note. Not that there was anyone to leave a note to.
He walked past the same two officer Rick's sitting in the living room watching television and went back to the station.
The rest of Cop Rick's shift was spent in silence as he filled out paperwork at his desk and listened to the gossip of the other Rick's around him.
"Can you believe that old sack of shit offed himself over a Morty? He had all that fucking money saved up in a-URP- college fund. What an-URP- idiot…"
"Well it all goes back to the citadel now. More tax dollars for- URP- us."
The two Rick's slammed their flasks together in a cheers.
"Damn. Can't believe he's dead…." said another Rick sadly for a moment and then with a sneer. "How the fuck do we get information on the Federation in his dimension now?"
"Fuck it. He's dead. He was a target a-URP-anyway." a Rick said, lounging back in his desk chair. "Good riddance." He put his feet up on his desk and looked over at Cop Rick. "What the hell's wrong with you?"
Another Rick waved a hand. "He got close to the dead asshole."
"I heard they went out for drinks after the dead turd was taken to the airlock." A Rick smirked. "You two make out a little? Did you do it? Were you so bad the bastard had to blow his -URP- damn brains out to forget about it?"
A Rick to his right grimaced. "Gross. Why would you even think that?"
"Blow me, b-URP-iiiitch." The other Rick belched.
The rowdy Rick's immediately settled down once their boss entered the squad room. The sergeant stopped in front of Cop Rick's desk with a certificate.
Cop Rick blinked back to reality and out of his thoughts as he took the certified paper. "S-Sir?" He questioned.
"You passed your internship. Congratu-URP-lations." The sergeant Rick said, turning his flask up to his lips as he departed. "You'll be assigned to your new partner tomorrow "
Cop Rick stared at the paper in his hands but he didn't feel the weight of the achievement he now held. All he could feel was the damn suicide note in his shirt pocket.
I'm sorry, Rick. Things will be easier now. You'll see. Go on those adventures. :) -Morty.
The next day when Cop Rick was assigned his new partner, he was definitely surprised to see that it was a Morty. But he was pleased. Finally a Morty representing the underprivileged Morty's like the one who had killed himself two days before. Or so he thought. He had been wrong. He realized that a second before pulling the trigger on Cop Morty. He trusted the wrong person again. Or in this case a Morty.
He had trusted that the factory Rick would be fine that night and he wasn't. He had trusted Cop Morty to do the right thing and he didn't. He had put his trust in other Rick's and the good of the Citadel as a whole. It failed both him and countless other Rick's and Morty's like the ones that killed themselves.
The citadel was supposed to be a safe haven for Rick's and Morty's alike. Everyone was supposed to have equal opportunities but they didn't. There was a massive imbalance of power. It had to stop.
This was why when a Morty candidate from the Morty Party won the presidency, he was glad. Conflicted but glad. Finally someone who knew what it was like to be a minority. Someone to take charge and set things right in the Citadel once and for all.
Cop Rick adjusted his new badge in the mirror of his locker. He gave a smile. He had faith in President Morty.
Nothing's wrong with putting your faith in a Morty. You just gotta pick the right one.
And he hoped he did.
How wrong he was.