2010-07-13: Identity Theft




Date: July 13, 2010


How do you prove it?

"Identity Theft"

Hallis' Apartment

The sojourn in Paris ended abruptly with a few confusing turns of events. Her only friend disappeared, the fund that she'd been using were suddenly drained and all of her credit cards cancelled. It was a particularly fortunate turn of events that the young woman managed to get a hold of her grandmother for a small loan to tide her over until her return. The old woman was confused, to say the least, having had lunch with the younger Van Cortlandt only a few days prior. In the end it was the tears of her only grandchild that won the money for her return.

A day later Lizzie's return to the United States has her feeling confused, unrested, and in quite a disarray. Being forced to barter her way from the airport using a gold watch, she finally steps up to the ornate door at the end of the hallway. Home.

As she tries her key, she finds it doesn't fit. The code entry to the door has been changed as well. Panic grows inside of her as she knocks tentatively, what's been happening while she's been away?

While Siellis' life has probably not been as hectic as the real Hallis', she's had her ups and downs. The biggest of which being that she cannot turn back into her normal form, something which she took comfort in doing every couple of days. However, whatever the reason, she had begun to feel more and more comfortable in Hallis' form. More than that, she's gotten to the point where she prefers Hallis' form. She likes living the life of Hallis Van Cortlandt. The acting, the money, the better wardrobe than she could ever imagine, even on the salary of being secretary for Jaden Cain.

That's when the fear began to kick in. What if the real Hallis returned? Well, that would be unacceptable of course. She's have keys to let herself into the apartment. Well, Sierra couldn't have that! So, she hired someone to change the locks and the codes. Now, she's resting in the living room when a quiet, timid knock comes at the door. Frowning, she approaches the door, opening it a touch to see who is on the other side. Her mouth drops. "Hallis…" She whispers.

The shadow behind the peephole is enough to let Lizzie know that someone is on the other side of the door. Whoever it is receives the initial rancor of the young celebutante locked in the hallway. With a few firm strikes at the wood with a clenched fist, the tiny blonde lets loose a bellow that would have frightened many lesser folk. "Whoever you are, let me in! This is my apartment!" Is the first call and it goes unanswered. "Let me in! Let. Me. In!!" Is the second and it seems to have degraded into something of a temper tantrum.

She doesn't stop pounding. Not until the door is actually opened.

Opening the door, Lizzie will see a mirror image of herself. "Quiet down!" Sierra in the form of Hallis hisses. "What are you doing here?! You're supposed to be in France!" She glares at Lizzie. "You were supposed to let me know when you were coming back. You were supposed to give me time. None of which you've given me! And for all intents and purposes 'you' do live here. For all anybody knows 'you' never left. Why? Because I have been here. And 'I' am 'you' to them!" She starts to close the door again, and will do so if the real Hallis doesn't stop her.

It's a mirror image aside from the clothing and composition. Lizzie might be Hallis but Sierra looks the part. In her restful days abroad, the dainty socialite has loosened up so much that she's wearing faded jeans and a t-shirt, something that Hallis.. Hallis would never be seen in.

Before Sierra has the chance to close the door, Lizzie throws her weight against it and barges into the premesis. "I would have called and let you know but my jPhone seems to be turned off, your email is shut down, my credits cards were cancelled, and all of my bank accounts were drained." All but one, her last savings account abroad that no one has access to or knows about, only her.

Squaring her shoulders, the real Hallis turns to face her clone. "Care to explain what's going on? And take off my face, I can't yell at you while I'm looking in the mirror."

Hallis glares at the real Hallis as she barges in, nearly slamming the door closed before locking it. Turning to face her real counterpart, Siellis eyes the girl. "You mean they didn't have regular phones over there in France? Hmm. Such a backwards country. Canada is so much better. Should've considered going there instead! I could've pointed out plenty of lovely little towns to hide in." While her voice sounds pleasant, there's a tad bit more than a drip of sarcasm in her voice. "And no, I wouldn't quite care to explain what's going on. And no, I won't 'take off' your face. In fact, I can't take off your face! I haven't been able to for almost a month now!"

"What do you mean you haven't been able to take my face off for a month? Just… do whatever it is you do and take it off!" Lizzie is practically steaming now, Sierra's sarcastic comments about where she could have gone to hide are left unchallenged. There's a whole world of places she could have hidden, she chose Paris. Her little fists are balled up on either side of her body and her thin arms are trembling. Unlike the Sierra version of Hallis, the Lizzie version sports a golden tan and healthy glow, something she's never had in her entire life. She looks as though she's been eating too, something that the old version wouldn't do without sneering.

"It's exactly what it sounds like! I haven't been able to!" Siellis shoots angrily. "My powers are gone! Completely and utterly! I don't know why! But they have. Believe me, there's nothing I'd like to do more than prove that I could still use them, but I can't." She has her own arms crossed as she continues to glare at Lizzie. "I'm not exactly a geneticist now am I? I don't know anything about how powers work! All I know is that mine are gone! Are you happy? All the misfortune you've had to deal with in your life, I've finally got some of my own! I'm normal. Just like you! In fact…exactly like you, one might say!"

Normal and misfortune aren't exactly the words most people of the world would use to describe the life of Hallis Van Cortlandt. Though not as 'special' as she's discovered that some of her acquaintances are, she's led quite the life of charm and extravagance. "Yeah, exactly like me except I wouldn't change the locks on you or leave you penniless in a foreign country!" Well, maybe she would, if she were angry enough. It's not a situation that Lizzie's come across. Ever. "I'd actually try to help you." Maybe. "I wouldn't just abandon you."

Hallis scoffs. "Yeah, well, maybe if you'd called first and told me something was wrong, I might have been able to help you. Just maybe. But did you bother to call? No. Did you pick up a pay phone, insert some coins, and dial the number? No! You didn't. And you know what? That's not my fault, it's yours! Mon Dieu. You've dug yourself into a hole!" She shakes her head. "Maybe I haven't explained myself, but did you think, even for a second, that maybe I've actually got a perfectly logical explanation? Like maybe there was some kind of credit card fraud, somebody electronically stole all the money, and that they were threatening me, thinking I was you, and that I had to change the locks and the code because they'd figured out how to get in?" Okay, maybe it's not the truth, but it's the excuse she's giving for now.

"I tried to call. I tried to get a hold of you. Do you think I would have left Paris if I didn't have some kind of money emergency? All I have left is.. I had to borrow money to get back here!" Lizzie is absolutely seething at this point. Reaching into her pocket, she pulls out a cellular phone and waves it near her head. "I tried calling you, the jPhone is shut off. The one that I gave you to get a hold of me. If you were being threatened and everything was being stolen you should have called me!"

She gives off a strangled scream of frustration and jams the phone back into her pocket. "I have people to protect me from this sort of thing! Didn't you look in the planner? Did you call Mister E.?"

Hallis shakes her head in frustration. "That's what a pay phone is for! For when your regular phones aren't working!" She shakes her head again. "I am not accustomed to living the 'la vie grande'. I come from a humble home in a humble town in Canada! I am not from a big, rich family where mommy and daddy were able to pay for everything we wanted! And do you think it's fun being the only one with fashion sense in the family? Fashion sense with barely any money to prove how fashionable I was. Sure, we were middle class. But I had to save up for long periods to get the clothes I wanted to wear! But this life…you…you've been able to do that so easily!" She glares. "And when something happens, I don't exactly know what to do. I've never had to deal with it before!" Stomping back to the door, she unlocks it and opens it. "You know what? I think it would be better if you left for the night and stayed elsewhere."

Lizzie's jaw just drops as she stares at Hallis. "Seriously?! Serious?! Are you kidding me!? You're kicking me out of my apartment?! You know what? I think you're the one that should leave." Sierra has a life, an apartment, things of her own. Lizzie has come to reclaim her legacy and what's rightfully hers. Her life, her fortune, and her wardrobe.

Crossing the short distance to the door, she attempts a steely grip on Hallis' arm and tries to force her out. "You can go back to your own life now, I want mine back." She doesn't, not really, her own life is a complicated mess that she ran away from. What she wants is something more uncomplicated, like in Paris.

Hallis scoffs. "I told you. I can't go back to my life. I'm stuck like this! Totally and completely! Besides, you're the one who wanted to run away, hide so you didn't have to deal with your real life! So go on, run and hide. I'll even give you a working credit card. But I'm certainly not leaving. Not right now. How'd it look if the esteemed Hallis Van Cortlandt went traipsing into a place in Queens when she has such a lovely apartment here?"

Two well groomed eyebrows knit together and form a deep angry vee in the middle of Lizzie's forehead. "Where am I supposed to go? You think it'd look bad for Hallis Van Cortlandt to be in Queens? You're kicking me out on the streets!" She folds her arms and doesn't budge, not an inch. Her jaw clenches and her eyes narrow to thin, dangerous slits.

"I'm not going anywhere, you can call the police and they can work it out." It's a plan that may or may not work in either of their favor. It can be proven that both women are Hallis, with that proof which one would be left holding the keys?

A small smirk crosses new Hallis' face. "But there's the thing! I can prove what time I can in, and that, until you dropped by, that I hadn't left the apartment since I arrived. Can you prove that? You don't even have ID to prove that you're Hallis! How would you prove that you have a right to be here and that I don't? Hmm? Now, as I said, I'll give you a credit card so you can check into a hotel. Someplace nice, maybe on the Park. And we'll get this all figured out later."

Hallis' logic is somewhat infallible. Somewhat. Lizzie still has a passport that proves her identity. "A credit card, really. You just pointed out that I don't have any ID to prove who I am, I can't rent a hotel room without ID." Still, she holds her hand out for the offered piece of plastic. "Give me the credit card, your new cell phone number, and the keys to your apartment." Lizzie isn't letting this go, not by a long shot. She's just tired from a flight and isn't prepared for something like this.

Hallis heads over to the table where she keeps her purse. Shuffling through it she pulls out a credit card and nothing else. She walks back over to Hallis. "Call me on Sierra's cell tomorrow. That's not changed. Call me. We'll work something out, okay mon cherie?" It's probably not, but hey. That's that for her.

Ripping the credit card out of her clone's hand, Lizzie tucks it away and then puts her hand out again. Her jaw is clenched and she's not moving. "Your keys too," she utters in a rather threatening tone. "You're not kicking me out on the streets with nothing." A credit card is all well and good but original Hallis is a little bit smarter when it comes to money. She knows how and where to get it. The new Hallis just admitted to not being as savvy about it. "And I want my jPhone, you can get a different one or you can use your old phone… your Sierra phone."

Hallis eyes the Original Hallis. "I'm not giving you the keys. I've only got one set. And I have still got to work tomorrow. So, you can just deal with not having the keys. And you can use the same old phone that you've been using. Now go, or do I have to call up the security guard to get you to move? I'll do it, too. I've made quite good friends with the security guards! Made friends with them, even. So I wouldn't press my luck if I were you!" She says firmly.

"If you think this is over, Sierra, you have another thing coming." Lizzie intones in a low growl. She's not used to losing and picking her battles wisely is what's going to be important right now. "Cancel this card and I will spend the rest of my life making you regret it. You might have my face, you might think you have all the rest… but I grew up in this. You're the new kid and you're not going to win."

With that, Lizzie grabs her suitcase and bag and stomps out the door, leaving Hallis alone with her thoughts.

Hallis smiles sweetly at her mirror face. "It was nice seeing you again. Really. We should do this again sometime. Coffee? Dessert? I really do miss our chats." So fake cheerful, it's almost sad. She holds up a hand and waggles her fingers goodbye. "I'll be talking to you soon, I do hope. Goodbye, mon cherie. I hope you have a pleasant evening."

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