I'll take the "old days" as being the range RAS traded in for close to five years before the residential downturn turned into an economic calamity: e.g. $26-$30. I put the odds of seeing $9-$10 over the next two years at over 90%. There are good reasons for thinking that:
1 - We'll be past the convertible notes put window. It will turn out to be a non-event.
2 - Profitability will continue to improve such that the business can support a dividend.
3 - The economy will improve enough that prices will start to rise again. RAS will sell some of its properties, turn the retained capital into new loans, and increase it profitability on loan turnover.
4 - Financisls, including mortgage REITs, will move back into favor.
That's just the high points.
I rate the odds of the "dark side", as you put it, at less than 1%; the odds of an acquisition at less than 5%.