The door was in front of him, the moment he had been preparing for was upon him. He had spent years fighting the evil governments set up by this cruel dictator on numerous planets, he had shut down the factories he had built on many planets. He had waged a war on this man, the only man more powerful than he was, for many years, and he had never faced him one on one.
He clutched the portal guy in his hands and thought of his grandson who this terrible man had taken away from him with one of his deadly contraptions. He left his daughter to keep her safe, he adopted one of the abandoned Mortys from an alternate dimension and he trained him to continue fighting this man if he died while battling him. Unfortunately, this man had taken his Morty away and ground up his body and sold his meat in one of his restaurants. He called the meal a “Baby burrito, made out of babies for babies!”
The sound of gunshots and cries of pain from his friends were heard on one of the floors below him. He had chosen to attack this man when he was at his weakest, in his hometown in his main office building. This man was so confident that nobody could harm him and so distrustful of any person or species that he refused to allow anyone to protect him. However, that didn’t mean that his building was completely unguarded, as he discovered when a missile shot his space ship when he attempted to land near the building, and when a small Appalachian mud squid started shooting at him and his friends when he entered the building.
He clutched the portal gun tighter in his hand and pushed the door open. He pointed the gun at the short man sitting at his desk who didn’t turn his gaze away from the stack of papers on his desk when he entered.
“Look at me mother fucker!” He shouted at the man. Dan Halen, the red haired knee-less man looked up at him for a brief moment, then he turned his gaze back to the papers.
“I am a very busy man and I’m doing very important work. Please leave the premises immediately,” Dan Halen spoke with an emotionless monotone. Rick growled and ran up to the man, keeping his gun pointed at him the entire time.
“This is for what you did to Morty!” Rick shouted as he pulled the trigger on his gun and sent a projectile flying towards the man. Dan Halen didn’t even look up from his papers as he pressed a button on the underside of his desk and a shield dropped from the ceiling and protected him from the blast. Rick blinked in disbelief and collapsed on the ground after firing a few more shots.
“Is that all you wanted to do?” Dan asked the elderly man who was glaring at him. Rick hated Dan Halen in that moment, not only for easily avoiding his attack, but for appearing to be so disinterested in him. He was motherfucking Rick! He was the smartest man in the universe! Everywhere he went people either wanted to be his friend, or they wanted to kill him, it was very rare that he ever encountered a sentient life-form who regarded him with complete disinterest.
“I’ve b-been after you for years. Me and my f-friends have been attacking your factories, dismantling your governments, freeing your clone slaves for years. You can hide behind your fucking shield, but I know that you’re afraid of me,” Rick said coldly to the man, who never looked up from his paperwork.
“Things break, people die. That’s why I have an army of clones,” Dan Halen said dispassionately as he diverted his gaze from the stack of papers to face Rick.
“If you have been attempting to bring down my business empire which extends throughout the universe, I haven’t noticed. How long have you been attempting to sabotage my organization?” It angered Rick how disinterested Dan Halen was with him. He had sacrificed so much to bring him down, and he didn’t even care.
“Years, years of my life that I’ll never fucking get back,” Rick hissed at the man. He was expecting a smirk, he was expecting the man to mock him, he was expecting some kind of reaction from him. Any reaction whatsoever would make him feel at least a little bit justified. The fact that he was simply staring at him apathetically, as though he was less of an annoyance than a common housefly irritated him to no end.
At that moment his friends, Birdperson and Squanch, burst in through the door followed by the squid from earlier who was still shooting at them with his gun. He wasn’t focused on that scene though, he was focused on the way that Dan’s eyebrows raised as the squid fired a shot in his office which clipped Birdperson’s wing and left gunshot holes in one of his walls.
“Early, we’ve discussed this. As much as I value your right as an American to bear arms, I don’t appreciate you firing your gun inside of my office,” Dan Halen spoke to the squid with just enough genuine anger evident in his voice to make Rick jealous. He had single-handedly dismantled hundreds of Dan’s factories, and he reserved more anger for a squid who fired a bullet into one of his walls.
“Don’t you go telling me what to or nothing. Jesus died to give me the right to fire my sumbitchin’ gun anywhere I damn well please and at anyone I damn well want to!” The squid shouted, and Rick noticed that Dan Halen’s eyes had started twitching with rage.
Another shot was fired from the squid, and that shot brought Birdperson to the floor. Of course, the only thing that Dan seemed to care about was that the small patch of wall near Birdperson at the time now had a bullet hole to serve as a reminder of the shot.
“Damn it Early, I just had that wall painted this morning!” Dan Halen shouted at the squid as Rick stared at him with his mouth agape. He couldn’t believe that this man was so angry at the squid for shooting his walls and not at the fact that the smartest man in the universe had openly declared his intent to destroy his empire and had attempted to kill him.
“I can travel through space and through dimensions!” Rick shouted at the man, and Dan Halen turned to face him with a bit of anger still evident on his face.
“I can travel through time and I will live forever, who cares,” Dan Halen said to the elderly man in front of him.
“Success isn’t measured by what abilities you have, it’s what you do with those abilities that matter. Why, with only my brilliant analytical mind I managed to create an empire that even God himself is envious of,” Dan Halen was smiling at this moment as he bragged about his empire, and Rick growled under his breath.
“Oh, by the way, I met God and his step-brother. I flew through the pearly gates into Heaven on a jet pack and I went on a pansexual adventure through time with some of my female interns. What have you done with your life?” Dan Halen asked Rick, but he didn’t appear to want an answer as his gaze wandered down to his stack of papers. Apparently, Dan had lost interest in the firefight between Early and Rick’s friends.
“I’ve gone on adventures all throughout space. I know how the entire universe works, everyone dies and nothing matters, all of your wealth and power doesn’t matter because you’re going to die alone and unhappy.” Dan Halen looked up from his papers and stared at Rick for a few seconds after Rick had finished speaking.
"Is that what you really believe? Do you honestly think that I am unhappy?" Dan Halen asked the man, and for a moment Rick was at a loss for words.
“You are a very boring man, and this whole exchange is boring. You and your friends are boring me, and I’d like you to leave,” Dan Halen’s gaze returned to his stack of papers and Rick growled. He raised his hand and pointed his portal gun at the man.
“You cocksucking son of a bitch, I’m going to-“ Before Rick could finished his sentence Dan Halen pressed one of the buttons located on the underside of his desk. Suddenly, Rick found himself falling through a trap door which sent him straight to the floor beneath him, and he landed on a chubby office worker who didn’t seem to notice that he had fallen on him as he continued working on whatever it was he was working on.
“Son of a bitch,” Rick swore to himself as he jumped off of the overweight employee. Almost immediately afterwards a shot was heard, a hole in the ceiling appeared and Birdperson fell onto the floor, followed closely by Squanch.
“And don’t you never pick a fight with a Cuyler not never again!” The squid yelled into the hole. Rick thought he heard Dan yelling at Early about the hole in his office floor.
It was an odd moment for Rick. He had gone on numerous adventures, invented numerous contraptions, and he was considered to be the smartest person in the entire universe. Yet, Dan Halen didn’t even care. To Dan, Rick might as well have been a mosquito that Dan didn’t care enough to swat away.
He clenched his fist and glared up at Dan Halen’s desk through the hole in the ceiling. He assumed that Dan was still looking at his important papers, and that the encounter with Rick was already faded from his mind. What was the point in battling this man who didn’t care about him, and likely would never care no matter what he did?
Rick sighed and entered a familiar set of coordinates into his portal gun, Birdperson looked at him with an unreadable expression that reminded him of Dan Halen.
“Where are you going?” Birdperson asked. Rick glumly pointed the gun towards the ground and fired.
“I’m giving up and going home,” Rick said with a defeated tone of voice before he stepped into the portal to return to his hometown in the house that he knew his daughter was living in.
Maybe, he could reconnect with his family and forget about Dan. Well, not his real family.
He winced as he remembered that his Morty had been killed by Dan, and his Beth was a traumatized wreck. Dan Halen didn’t even know or care that he had ruined his life. He wondered if Dan cared about anything?
Rick wasn’t sure how long it had been since he had visited Dan. He had gone to a different universe after he had Cronenburged Earth in his universe. He did a little bit of research and discovered that Dan Halen disappeared from this universe after he had ruined his world with a corn monster who mutated everything on the planet so that everything was ‘on the cob’.
He assumed that in this universe Dan Halen was dead and he smirked when he realized that Dan must have not have been able to dimension hop like he could with his gun. Dan was dead, he was alive, whether or not it was ‘his’ Dan didn’t matter.
Then, he caught a glimpse of Dan when he visited the council of Ricks using what appeared to be a more advanced portal gun than the one he possessed. His gun apparently had an attachment that dispensed some sort of alcoholic drink, and a second attachment that dispensed tacos.
He was berating the council for some reason that he didn’t care about. All that mattered to him was that Dan was alive, Dan had some sort of control over the council, and Dan had a better portal gun than he had.
He was about to join the council, but when he saw Dan he immediately changed his mind. He wasn’t going to allow Dan to have the opportunity to have any control over him.
Seeing Dan controlling the council from behind the scenes made him realize that not only could he not join the council, he needed to destroy it and the citadel. If Dan cared enough to make a visit and yell at one of the Ricks, he would surely care if the council was destroyed.
Rick had done it, he had made Dan Halen angry.
He didn’t realize that both the federation and the council of Ricks were under Dan Halen’s control, but it was a happy coincidence that by destroying the council of Ricks and the federation he had destroyed two things that Dan cared about.
Still, he was expecting more yelling, not the knee-less man sitting calmly on Beth’s chair when he entered the living room.
The overweight employee that he had landed on when he visited Dan Halen walked in from the kitchen and handed Dan a cup of coffee. Dan Halen accepted the cup and took a sip of the brown liquid.
“So, Rick was it? Of universe C-137 or something, it’s hard to remember specifics when you all look so much alike, almost as though you’re clones grown in a field who’s only purpose is to entertain me,” Dan Halen smirked and Rick glared at him.
“Listen mister, I don’t know who you are, but my grandpa just took down a galactic empire. He’s a dangerous man and he’ll kick your ass!” Summer shouted at the man with pride evident in her voice.
“Y-yeah, he’s fought much bigger and s-s-stronger aliens than you. You’d better leave before he gets mad,” Morty joined in shouting at Dan, and Rick winced. The fact that he had fought and defeated numerous dangerous creatures made his loss to Dan all the more bitter.
“Yes Rick, why don’t you kick my ass as the kids say? Just like you did the last time we met,” Dan Halen’s smirk was really starting to piss Rick off.
“I assume that you didn’t tell your family how you spent years trying to hurt me, and you failed miserably,” Dan Halen took a sip of coffee and for a brief moment his eyes closed as he savored the flavor of the liquid.
“Wait, is that why you left me and mom? To fight this asshole?” Beth seemed shock and appalled at the revelation and Dan Halen raised an eyebrow. Rick could tell that Dan was fighting the urge to laugh.
“Oh this is just precious, you abandoned your daughter to try to bring down my empire. I assumed that you returned to her after our little encounter where you tried and failed to kill me,” Dan Halen was grinning at him, Beth was glaring at Dan, Morty, Summer and Jerry all looked confused, and the overweight employee simply looked bored.
“Come on Glen, we’re leaving. Pack up the griffindoodle and the death ray,” Dan Halen motioned towards the employee, and stood up from the chair.
“Weren’t we going to, umm, get the griffin to eat him or something?” The employee asked, and Dan Halen chuckled.
“No Glen, we were just taking him for a walk. I don’t want his appetite to be spoiled before dinnertime,” Dan explained to the man.
“Well, what’s the death ray for then?” Glen asked, and Dan smiled.
“Oh, well I figured since we’re in this universe we might as well destroy Europe. It will be a fun little employer slash employee bonding session,” The smirk never left Dan Halen’s face as he spoke, but Rick could sense that his interest in him and his family was waning.
“Alright, I’ll pack everything up, and put a leash on the griffin thing,”
“It’s a griffindoodle Glen, get it right please,” Dan pulled his portal gun seemingly out of nowhere and aimed it at the floor.
“Oh, and by the way,” Dan Halen fired his portal gun at the floor and a bright purple portal appeared.
“I left you a free baby burrito in your kitchen in case you want a snack later. I know how much you Ricks enjoy-“ Dan’s gaze turned towards Rick’s grandson. “-Mortys.”
With a chuckle, Dan leaped into the portal and within a few seconds a griffindoodle flew from the kitchen into the portal followed by Glen holding a fairly large machine.
“Alright, have a good’un,” Glen said to the family before he leaped into the portal. As soon as the portal closed, every one of Rick’s family members turned to glare at him.
“Dad, who was that?” Beth asked Rick, who was staring at the spot where Dan Halen had created his portal.
“It doesn’t matter who he is, all that matters is what I am,” Rick said to his family before he started walking towards the kitchen.
“I’m a mosquito and I’ve just bitten into him and sucked out some of his blood, and he chose not to swat me. He wanted me to know that he made that choice.”