Here is one approach that don't work: Testing the new position for collisions and rejecting the reel-in if there are any.
What if you're reeling in a powerup or something? You want there to be a collision.
If you're already up against a wall, it's possible that reeling should give you velocity in one direction even as it doesn't work in the other.
I think I have a pretty good solution right now, but that just means I don't know all the problems with it. The basic approach is to check on any collision whether it was caused by reeling in; if so, don't change the physics at all, but merely move the objects so that they don't overlap. Then, recalculate HiStop so that this is a valid position.
There are still some bugs -- under certain high-velocity collisions, things freak out, and I'm not sure why. Reeling in the "up-against" case doesn't look quite realistic enough. And it would be nice to have something like the stutter back, but I can always add that in later.
We met with Carl's advisor again today. He suggested Carl work on the artwork, and maybe that the "narrative" hooks grab a little firmer (with "narrative" meaning the progression of the game, in whatever way we define it -- plot, advancement, whatever. In other words, we need to be more compelling right off the bat. Well, maybe so, but I'd kind of like to get a move on this thing, and so I feel like I should be working on the healbeam campaign.