2008-02-06: Knight Rider


Joule_icon.gif Mohinder_icon.gif

Summary: Joule is introduced to Mohinder's laboratory on wheels, in which he was not admiring her legs.

Date It Happened: February 6th, 2008

Log Title Knight Rider

Mohinder's Mobile Lab

It's Joule's first day on the job, and surely it just might be the most unusual first day.. seeing as Mohinder told the woman to meet him just outside of the city in an industrial area. Amongst warehouses and parking for trucking, there's a non-descript black 18 wheeler parked in a marked space. This is where he wanted to meet Joule. His apartment is more comfortable, and he is attached to the lab on Reed Street, but neither are exactly safe from surveillance. Here? They will be far from the prying eyes of the Company.

Shades of Knight Rider. But Joule is nothing if not adventurous. She has on what is, for her, a sensible outfit. And a subdued one, as there's still a certain notoriety she enjoys due to the "Represent!" video. She raises a brow inquisitively at Mohinder. "Hullo then, Doctor," she greets him, though she manages to make the formal title sound affectionate somehow.

"Miss Dahanukar, thank you for indulging the odd request to meet here." Mohinder says, walking towards the woman. His cab is parked nearby, seeing as he's /not/ driving a semi around New York City. That's just asking for trouble when parking a normal car is a nightmare. "I would prefer to work with you out of this lab. The lab I do prefer is under surveillance and is too well known."

"As you like," Joule replies, brow remaining lifted curiously. "I'm sure you can provide me with digital recordings, if it's too difficult to manage this sort of thing." She shrugs. "But you'll get to know me. You'll understand curve balls don't phase me at all." The single concession she's made to looking professional today is that her hair is plaited into a French braid fishtail.

Mohinder doesn't care how professional or unprofessional Joule appears. That's not why he hired her on. "Follow me then please," he says as he leads to the door that goes into the rig, rather than opening the main bay doors. "I haven't made full use of this place since I was initially given it. I'm glad to hear changes in routine or plans do not bother you. I'm afraid that while I like being left to my own devices, others seem to have other things in mind where I'm concerned."

"It's your talents, hmm? A man in demand? By those questionably moral fellows?" Joule asks, shrewdly, as she follows him to the door. "Or is it just that you're the best cab driver in New York?" She glances over at the taxi, smirking faintly.

"It's something to fall back on. It was good enough for my father to earn money when he had none in this city." Mohinder has no shame about being a cab driver. Some days, he just might prefer to return to that rather than meet some demands made on him. "And yes, you could say I'm in demand by questionable fellows." Unlocking the door to lead into the bay of the truck, he turns on the lighting. The setup inside is rather impressive, not as state of the art as Reed Street, but for a mobile unit? It has everything he needs. "Take this place for example. A person who had a very cruel medical joke played on him.. he had this lab put together, then he kidnapped him to help work on his problem. He gave me the lab after I diagnosed his problem. At first I thought he was playing a sick joke on me. He had no idea his problem was fabricated, thus leading to a severe addiction to drugs."

Joule wasn't trying to cast aspersions on his chosen side gig. "Really…?" she breathes, astonished at how strange that story is, and how very calmly Mohinder tells it. "Well. Terribly nice of him to hand this over to you." It must've cost a fortune. More money than Joule's familiar with, at any rate.

"I can only assume his dealings are less than legal in order to afford this lab." Mohinder waits for Joule to enter the lab before shutting the door behind her. "It was the least he could do. He genuinely thought he was going to die without a specific medication. Turns out, it was nothing more than highly dangerous and addictive drugs. Morphine being the least of them. If I had his name and an address, I would send him another thank you note." Since this place just might come in quite handy.

Joule shrugs off the coat, and looks around. She's got on an all black body stocking with dazzling blue cardigan over it, and a lab coat over that. "I don't doubt. This will simplify things if you ever find yourself needing to work on the road, I'm sure."

Mohinder catches himself looking at Joule's attire, it's brief, but something one can't help but notice. (male or female.) "And I think that I might be in need of that. Before we continue, I should explain a few other details about my situation. The people who currently fund my research and pay my salary, they won't be terribly inclined to seeing me go. Patient X, who I told you about? Is at another organization who is equally secretive and a rival. I'm finding myself a bit caught. This is a reason why I only want to work from here with you, so that you aren't seen too often at my apartment or my other lab."

He's trying to protect her? He's trying to protect her! That's so … gallant! Joule can't help but be touched by the gesture. "That's very noble of you, to look out for me that way." She would like to say she can take care of herself, but…he knows more about this mad world she and Lee belong to than she does. And he's been immersed in it longer. So she listens. "I can be a little more circumspect if need be." She's had to duck tails before.

Of course Mohinder is trying to protect Joule. She has an ability and can take care of herself, but can she defend herself against the Company? "I don't want you to get tangled in the same mess I've found myself in. Your father wouldn't appreciate it, I'd wager." He nods to show his understanding, before starting to show her around the lab. "Excellent. I realize sneaking about can be difficult, but it's necessary."

"Spent from age nine all the way to nineteen doing it. Like riding a bicycle, I assure you," Joule says, flippantly. Though there's something in her eyes that indicates she's taking him seriously. Probably the fact that he invoked Ashwath Dahanukar. She still feels guilty that their renewed connection was cut short. "Mother of invention, Doctor," she tells him. "We should accomplish quite a lot, then."

Mohinder laughs just a little, not realizing Joule's moods just yet. He has to learn them in time. He turns to look at Joule, and he's smiling. "I think I'm glad that I resisted assistants for so long." In other words, it could be that he was waiting for just the right sort to come along.

"You're too kind. You do realize much of this will be over my head. I didn't study any of my father's academia. I barely parse his notes and disks." Joule shakes her head. "I'd do better at the girl Friday stuff. But whatever you ask, I'll do. I'm nothing if not a diligent worker."

"That's quite alright, that's all I need. I prefer to do most of the work myself, I just don't have time to tend to correspondence, even some transcribing of notes." Mohinder is starting to realize he can't do this all by himself. Maybe he's even happy to have someone from a similar background that he can talk to. He hasn't been able to converse like this since Eden, and before her, Mira. Of course, circumstances have dictated that he can't really open up too often, it leads to trouble.

"Fair enough, then," Joule assures him. "Notes, correspondence, and making sure you remember to eat." Joule reaches to poke Mohinder in his ribs, gently. "You're a touch underfed as it is. You won't be much use to yourself if you go all malnourished."

Mohinder blinks and looks down at the finger that pokes him in the ribs. The smile he gives is a mix of apology and guilt. "When I get focused, I tend to stay that way." Matt's not too far off thinking that Mohinder requires a babysitter. For oh so many reasons. What Joule will learn in time, not only does the man get driven about his work.. he also tends to take out his frustrations on equipment.

"Well, then, part of my job description will be to break you out of the fugue now and again, and bring you to the surface where you can breathe for awhile, hmm?" Joule quirks a grin back at him. "At least once a week. Because even the most brilliant mind needs the occasional break in order to keep the neurons firing and the ideas flowing." She'd know this from her own father, who she had to drag kicking and screaming to take a walk in the woods, or a ride on a double-decker bus now and again.

Mohinder laughs at Joule, folding his arms across his chest. "Thank you. My ward, does what she can. Even dropping hints about what she'd like for me to cook for dinner." His expression then sobers slightly as he leans against one of the tables bolted to the floor of the bay. "I have a confession to make. I feel like I should be suspicious of you. I've been kidnapped several times. I know I'm being used, when I meant to use those funding my research. I was easily betrayed by the last person I freely let myself open up to." Still, he doesn't blame Eden.

Joule raises a brow. She thought she'd seen signs of other people living there. "Well, not a job for a kid. Being a kid is a lot of work alone." She then takes a startled step back as he explains to her about his past. "Several times," she repeats, incredulous. "Kidnappings and betrayal. I suppose that would make anyone else skittish." She pauses, though, frowning thoughtfully. "I can't offer you anything but my word I mean you no harm. I am what you see. A stunningly gorgeous freelance photojournalist daughter of a mad-but-in-the-good-way scientist, who happens to have a rather unusual ability I haven't got total control of. I don't have the resources to kidnap anyone."

Mohinder inclines his head in a nod. "One we try to see she excels at." While he's feeling open, it's not so much that he'll tell Joule about Molly's ability and that he's determined for her to be as normal as possible." The seriousness that crept in flee the truck as he laughs aloud and easily at the woman, "Well.. that much I noticed," he admits, and he just might be giving a blush under his dark skin. "I hardly blame Eden for spying on me. She was planted to spy upon my father, and then when I took over his apartment, she was ordered to do the same for me." He rather liked the woman, and the blame for her spying is solely on the Company's shoulders.

"Well, I have no ulterior motives, Doctor. Promise." Joule holds up the three fingered boy scout salute thing. "I only wanted to put my father's soul to rest, and you've helped me do that. The rest? Icing. And no one's twisting my arm. I'm exactly where I want to be."

"That's good to know." Even if some part of Mohinder is hanging onto suspicion. It's only natural after what he's been through. "I'll do all I can to look after you, to keep you from being touched because of your father's legacy." Joule's father may not have been as well known as Chandra Suresh, but he wouldn't put it past someone to try and take her for what he left behind.

His suspicion…on some level, Joule must have sensed it; that, she reasons, might be why she's refrained from getting any more familiar with him than 'Doctor'. "Thank you. I know my father would've liked you." Probably so much he would've encouraged her to stop her wild ways and settle down with a man who understands the importance of research, science, and the helix. "So far, no one has bothered with me. At least, not like that. I get the occasional lecherous fanboy, but I didn't spend years being a street brawler just to get mondo dismo in my hair."

"I'm sure I would have liked your father greatly," Mohinder says with a bit of regret and sadness for things that never will be. "Good.. I don't mean to frighten you, just to put you on your guard about some entities in this world.. pardon? Street brawler?" Well, that's a bit of a surprise to him. He takes another look at the woman, a long good look. "I never would have taken you for a fighter. You should be okay. You know how to use your ability, it's something that is subtle and low key. It should keep you under the radar."

"Doctor," Joule says, with a half-lidding of her eyes and a sly smile. "I. Was. A. Hellion." Growing up. While her daddy focused on his research to the exclusion of all else and the neglect of his daughter, she was out running the streets. "I got myself into and out of all sorts of trouble. So one has to learn to take care of oneself, hmm?" She shrugs, unrepentant and insouciant. That must be where she gets this incorrigible self-confidence. "Between that and my ability, and my newfound …er…notoriety…I think reducing my visibility would be sort of silly on the part of anyone …naughty."

Mohinder looks taken aback at Joule's behavior, he's a bit startled you could say. "And here I thought I was rebellious for questioning what I felt was my father's insane pursuit of people with abilities. How much I needed to learn in my time of doubt. We disagreed so much that we weren't exactly speaking around the time of his murder." Something Mohinder still tends to kick himself for. "Although, I can see the necessity of learning to tend to yourself. Not that I can particularly see someone like you needing to fend off bullies, unless they were men unable to comprehend the word no."

Joule nods, understanding. "In my case, it was the reverse. He ignored me, and I went off the deep end trying to get his attention. It didn't work. Not until I came back around to school. That made him proud. And he realized, or remembered, he had a daughter who needed him." And yes, he was murdered just as they were starting to become close again. "You'd be surprised how often that happens lately, Doctor. This'd be why."

She flips a camera phone out of her coat pocket and shows him the "Represent!" video. The music is vaguely 80s. The lead singer is Lee Jones. On lead guitar, Jane Forrester. Electric violin, Rochelle Knight. And on drums? Joule. At least until the bridge. She dances her way sexily around Lee, who looks delighted, and then does some MTV-esque shimmyshaking. The lyrics are quite obviously teaching the questions inner city children would encounter on those odious standardized tests in which one must fill in the right bubble with their number two pencil.

Mohinder moves to stand next to Joule, leaning in close so that he can see what's displayed on the cellphone. Jane, he recognizes from research and helping her with her ability. The recognition registers in his eyes. "I'm sorry that your father ignored you. It couldn't have been intentional, if his dedication to work was anything like my father's. I just happened to follow a similar calling, but going into teaching genetics. My lectures were a little beyond the norm, nothing like my father's though.." Anything else he was going to say sort of falls to the side as he continues watching the video. Squinting his eyes some at the small video screen, surprise takes place of recognizing Jane at seeing Joule shimmying around. "I seem to have employed a celebrity."

"I don't think it was. Not now, no," Joule assures Mohinder. "But to a nine year old who'd just recently lost her Mum? It was the end of the world." She smiles, pleased, at Mohinder's reaction to her dance solo. "It didn't work out that way intentionally, Doctor," she tells him. "This was mainly supposed to be a sort of prank, a thumbing-the-nose at the test and the school board, while still accomplishing exactly what they wanted of Lee. It's just — apparently somebody put it on the internet, and …well…kablooey." She shrugs. "After the Jumbotron got hacked, my face and my legs got noticed a bit more is all."

"I can imagine how it must have been." Mohinder did grow up in the shadow of a deceased sister and his father's obsession with it. "I can see why they were noticed a bit more." Then realizing he might have spoken out of turn, he apologizes, "I'm sorry, that was out of line." He puts a little more personal space between himself and Joule after the video ends, making a face about standardizing testing. "I can understand the necessity of testing, but I disagree with spending more time testing than teaching. I preferred dialogue with my students, and injecting surprise quizzes."

"Well, now I figure he's watching over me to make up for not having done so when he was here," Joule allows, philosophically. "Oh, not at all, Doctor!" Joule flashes him a brilliant smile, taking the remark as a compliment rather than an out of line comment from another guy admiring her legs (even if that's what it was). "Lee feels the same way. He wants to actually teach, not force them to memorise by rote all these charts, graphs, and what-not." That's the other thing about the lyrics. They were cynical, and implied that Lee was forced to teach the test. "I suggested that if he was going to have to teach this nonsense anyway, he might as well do it in a way the students would pay attention to and actually have a chance of remembering; speak to them in their language." She shrugs. "He liked the idea. I had no idea it would take off like this. I'm not sure he did, either."

"There's no point to forcing a memorization, that's not the point of teaching." Mohinder nods his head in understanding, even if he's not familiar with Lee. "That is one way to get children to pay attention, present it in a manner familiar to them. Although, I must say, I'm more accustomed to teaching college students. It's only recently that I've had experience with teaching someone younger." All the time he's homeschooled Molly, but she's different than teaching a classroom of children. "Shall we get down to business then?" Deftly, he avoids further discussion of Joule's legs. He wasn't looking. "There's not much to familiarize yourself with here in this lab, but I can show you where I keep the things you'll be working with."

"By all means, Doctor, let's begin. And afterward, we'll hit a museum or something, to give your mind a break, hmm?" She gestures him onward, and pulls out a PDA to take notes as he describes the ins and outs of the mobile laboratory to her.

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