A/N: Well, I have finally come to the end of this story. Thank you so much to those who have kept vigil with it. I have enjoyed writing this story…no, perhaps 'enjoyment' is an understatement. This story has absorbed me into its folds whenever I begin writing it, and I hope that it has absorbed you when you read it, too. Thank you for sharing this with me. I did tell you that I always meant to complete this story

Epilogue – The Beginning

Uncle Priam used to tell me that all things have an end. I could endure anything, survive anything, because some day, eventually, it would come to an end. The ending is what matters. The ending washes out the pain and eases the hurt.

But what nobody ever talks about is the beginning. For us, the Trojan runaways, what end is there to speak of? Everything has ended. We have lost our homes, our families, our friends. We saw them burn before our very eyes; they went up in smoke, along with our hopes and dreams. We cannot speak of an end. The only thing – the most important thing for every civilization – is our beginning.

"We must begin again," Paris said during our first gathering after the frantic flee from the burning city. "This is not our end. All great civilizations meet their ends eventually, but it isn't our time to end yet. This is a new beginning for us."

We cheered him even though our hearts were leaden and our spirit all but broken. We cheered because none of us wanted to end yet. Paris was right; this was not our ending. We still had the Trojan sword. Our King Priam and Prince Hector lived on in our souls. We had not escaped the enemy simply to meet our end in the forests.

And I…I must begin over, too.

My new life has begun…a life with Paris, Andromache, and Helen. There is no hate in me for what Paris did to Achilles. I laid awake the night after we escaped, and put forth the two choices before me. I could either hate Paris; relinquish my link to my last blood relative left on earth, or love him all the better for being my only blood relative, and unite in building a new world for our people. This time, I thought, I would choose the latter. I wanted a beginning, not an end.

And so here we are, trudging toward to find a place that will accept us. There are only about a hundred of us left from the tatters of the glorious civilization that was Troy. I don't know if we will ever be recorded in history. Perhaps people, three thousand years from now, will think that every citizen of Troy went down with it. Perhaps nobody will ever care.

But we will continue on, because we want to continue our lives; to live for those who died; to remember our old loves, our desires, the passions that we left behind in Troy…to spread the memory of what had been Troy – all the glory, all the wordless beauty of generations of men who had lived and died in that city within the walls – a magnanimous king and gentle father, a noble prince and fearless warrior – the children who had run through the enormous gates and frolicked on the sun-warmed sand of the beach.

Will anyone remember the great warrior of the Greeks, handsome and seemingly indestructible, and the insignificant Trojan priestess who loved him?

I don't know what lies ahead of us. I don't think anyone else does, either. But there is a beginning for us; a beginning shaped by all the timeless stories of love and courage and beauty and humanity that have fashioned great civilizations through the centuries, and we will find it. We will.

- The End -