Posted by: .anria | 9 May 2010

Hightower Redax: Back to Sunset Valley

Unfortunately, my computer glitched bigtime and sent Damian’s save file straight into bluescreen hell. I had to go back to a previous save, which means I’m having to replay a good deal of his story through and try not to get my screenshots mixed up.

I’m determined not to be gloomy, though, and I’m also determined not to give up on the Hightowers! So I now present to you Hightower Redax: Back to Sunset Valley.

We’re not focussing on Damian this time, however. Instead, it’s his despised and rejected little sister, Lin. Lin’s just as much of a genius as her big brother, but nowhere near as social. When Damian’s mother died, his father remarried and Lin was the result; Damian hated the fact that she existed, just as much as he hated his stepmother, which ultimately meant that Lin was picked on and belittled behind closed doors for most of her childhood life. She’s never quite shaken the bookish loner persona she adopted in self-defence.  (Lin is also the source of Damian’s dislikes children trait, although he’d never admit it.)

Damian has now firmly rejected his entire family, even going so far as to move to Niua Simoa to get away from them. Unbeknownst to him, however, Lin is also none-too-enamoured of their parents, and she’s moved away on her own, too.

And bought a beach. Uh, okay?

Lin’s got a burning desire for justice – probably because of the horrible way Damian treated her when they were children. Her dream is to become a Dynamic DNA Profiler, a tricky, technical and demanding job – hopefully her perfectionist nature and computer whiz skills will come in handy on her way to the top.

Enough introductions; it’s time for Lin to take over this story’s direction.

Me? Uh … okay. Well, my name is Lin Hightower, and this is my favourite building in the whole neighbourhood. The library’s recently been put under new management, and they’ve been adding a few new extra things that I’m not sure I like – who needs workout equipment at a library, huh? – but it’s still just the best place in town.

It’s kinda … also pretty much the only place in town I know. I spent most of my childhood and teenage years either holed up in my room or hiding in a back room in the library to get away from my brother. I didn’t pay much attention to the rest of the place.

But Damian’s in Niua Simoa and he’s not coming back, so I’m not gonna hide any more.

Oh man, this is scary.

And, um, that guy’s really hot.  How can he be so hot?

Um.  Um. Deep breaths, Lin. Go talk to him. You can do this.

I can do this.

“Hi, I’m Lin Hightower. I don’t think we’ve met before, so, uh, have you been to the library before? I’m here a lot. Um, yeah, a big lot.”

Stuuuuupid…

“Nice to meet you, Lin. I’m Thornton Wolff – and you’re right, I don’t come to the library much. I’m normally busy with work, but then if I’m stuck in an office all day I don’t get to meet lovely new people like you.”

Like me? Woah. Like me. Um. Uh. He’s flirting, isn’t he. Oh, man, gotta say something smooth, come on Lin, say something smooth…

“So are you married?”

Not. Smooth.

“Yes, I am – my wife’s just gone inside, I should go after her…”

“Oh, of course.”

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

So yeah, great timing on the introduction thing, boss. Thanks a bunch. Now everyone’s seen me spaz and how much I fail when it comes to talking to people.

Oh, lighten up. You still have chess.

Great.

See? Chess helps.

So I just … play chess and people come along and join me? I don’t have to talk to them first?

It worked, didn’t it? And I most certainly did not prompt Mr Steel to come over. Not at all.

Really? You didn’t?

…Yes.

“You play a good chess game, Miss…?”

“Lin, um, my name is Lin Hightower. And thank you, Mr…?”

“Chris Steel – well, Christopher, but just call me Chris.”

“Sure, Chris.”

“If I might make a suggestion, though…”

“Sure!”

“You might benefit from a session with conversational experts over at the Town Hall.”

“Um, why?”

“Well, your conversation is somewhat … lacking.”

“Lacking what?”

“…Anything.”

You know, it was just a suggestion. You don’t have to do what he says.

Yes, I do. I’ve been socialising for all of two hours, and I’m already sick of being told how bad I am at it!

So, do you feel better?

Yes, actually, I do. But I’m not wasting my new skills on spotty teenagers, so you can think again. I’m going to the bookstore.

I thought you were going to the bookstore.

Shh. I’m socialising. “Hi! You were reading Point Farmer, right? Sorry to ask this all of a sudden, but how are you finding it? I’ve read a few reviews that said it was out of this world, but I’m just not sure if it’s really as good as the hype.”

“Oh, cool, I’m about halfway in and it’s pretty good so far. Wouldn’t say it was out of this world, though.”

“I guess nothing’s perfect. I’m Lin, by the way, nice to meet you.”

“Cyclone. Nice to meet you, too. Maybe I’ll see you around?”

“Sure!”

Wow. You actually didn’t screw that up.

Ohmygodohmygodohmygod I DID IT!

And you didn’t say that out loud. I’m proud. I’ll take over while you recover your composure, ‘kay?

Lack of funds mean that apples from the trees in the park will be Lin’s main food source for a while. Beaches are expensive, y’know? It’s a high price to pay for some peace and quiet, but then I guess peace and quiet is just that important to Lin.

At least the bathrooms at the gym are free.

And it has an unguarded fridge. I get the feeling that the fridge was meant for staff only, but if they’re not going to watch over it…

However, on return to the library, Lin walks into her worst nightmare: way, way too many people.

This is what the beach is for, dammit!

Hush, I’m narrating. Anyway, Lin went and hid upstairs in a little nook like the wimp she is and eventually all the scary people went away. Apart from Kaylynn Langerak, who stayed until about 3am playing video games in the only room with a sofa.

This is only significant – well, beyond the implied parental negligence in a child being out that late – because it meant Lin had to sleep on the bench outside.

When I said the beach was expensive? I meant really expensive.

And that, my friends, is the end of Lin’s first day living on her own in Sunset Valley. She no longer has the shadow of her brother hanging over her head, but will she be able to succeed in establishing herself as a rock of the local community, or will her loner tendencies get the better of her?

Find out next time on Hightower Redax!

On to Days Three & Two >>

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Responses

  1. […] family was never just limited to him.  Up on Lives and Times of the Hightowers are parts one and two of the Hightower Redax Legacy, following Damian’s little sister […]

  2. Oh no! I was just getting into Damian’s story/mission.

    Stupid glitching games.

    Love Lin’s look.

  3. Argh, I know. I’d played through a good chunk of the way past where I’d posted, which makes it all the more annoying that I’d been a bit lax with backing up the save games.

    Thank you!


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