The psychiatrist's report to Lady Cassandra Mathem-Steele was brief. Princess Raven was suffering from guilt, isolation and grief, and forgetting to take her medication regularly. Borderline suicidal with depressive tendencies. Within the hour Raven was in the hospital with Cassandra beside her bed. "Grieving about what, Raven?" Raven looked down at her hands, picking at the covers. "Last year I fell in love. I saw him almost daily for a year, in secret. Then he was murdered and his body dropped on my doorstep by professionals. As a warning to me." "Do you have any idea who sent them." "Yes. The job was too professional. No traces of any kind." "Who?" Raven's head lowered again. "Have you taken any revenge yourself?" Sandy asked. "No." She said softly. "To take revenge would defile his memory and help nothing. I understand why it was ordered." "I don't. If nothing else we need to remind whoever it was not to mess with the Sith." "Cassandra, my friend. The Sith ordered this." "Who?" "Sith cannot war against Sith." Raven rests her head on her pillow, silent. "Whoever did this is already warring against you." "It was done to protect me. They believed that he was influencing me. He was Jedi. They were right, only not in that way. We did not discuss politics or the Force. But he influenced me by being alive." Raven smiled briefly. Cassandra continued. "Only your father has that authority. If it was anyone else they have overstepped the bounds, and need to be reminded of them." Raven flinches at the Emperor's mention. "Maybe Vader. But I doubt he'd care." Sandy added. "No... Vader would not care." Raven's voice is smaller. "Who else both can and would. Salvatore is dead. Darana wouldn't stand in your way. Nor would anyone here on Zoron. Did your father do this?" "Do not ask me that. The answer cannot be acted upon." "Well that at least settles the issue. Does he realise that this was the best way possible to lose you? "Yes." "No, he wants you to take some kind of revenge. That would pull you Darkward." Sandy mused. Raven sat up. "I could hurt him badly. You and I know how to kill in many ways. I won't do that to him. The Dark does not help me. It does not fill the hole that I have." "So you want to get back at him by going light? "No. I wish to find myself a way to be balanced so that I do not seek death. I was happy, I can be again." "No, only love will do that, Dark or Light. "Yes. Love...." Raven sighed. "Light and Dark are not your problem. You can love just as well on either side of the Force, even if the Jedi tend to fear passion. He should have ignored you." "Yes, I agree..." But the damage is done." Raven smiled a bit. "Who was this Jedi, anyway? Did he matter otherwise." "No, not really. He lived on Coruscant and was married but she died of cancer a few years ago." "He lived on Coruscant? How'd he pull that one off. And how old was he?" Raven grinned. "He was in his 50s. He did not touch the Force, laid low and took a normal profession. Blended into the billions of others all around." "So you feel guilty because if he hadn't met you he'd have been safe?" The smile faded. "Yes, a bit. He knew that meeting me was a risk. If I had not told anyone, I think I might have kept the secret longer. Perhaps..." "Who did you tell?" Raven shakes her head. "Doesn't matter." Raven smiled. "The Jedi have a mantra about peace. I hope that that will help -me- to be at peace." "I'd have thought he'd have been seen as a minor opportunity. He can't have been a fanatic or he'd have left for Yavin years ago. "No. I was beginning to become lighter, less aggressive. I was needed to Purge Jedi, not love them. He was not a fanatic. He was just a man." "Better to seduce them than to purge them." "I agree, but father does not." "He holds you too tight. I suspect I would have been allowed to try." "Yes, I believe he would have." Raven smiled at Cassandra. The marriage her friend had was what she wanted. Friends. Darana's husband had returned to her. Anelis had killed hers and the Emperor's marriage was chaotic at best. Tara's would be of State when it occurred. "Raven, I don't think turning light will solve your problem. You need to be yourself, and find love. You can do both on either side of the Force." Cassandra soon left to allow the nurses in, and soon Raven returned to dreaming.
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