nicholas nicola etchings



A man falls into a closed underground cavern occupied by warring industrial societies. He is captured by the leaders of Ashur who present this special intruder as a messiah figure to the world. The charismatic stranger convinces many nations to fight with Ashur against the other `superpower' of this underworld - Snetha. Ashur wishes to dominate this cavern world. However, Snetha is not defeated and a plan is devised to make a surprise attack on Snetha's main stronghold. The `messiah' - who is Machiavellian and wants to secure not only his own survival but also his own personal quest for power - convinces his captors that he should go with this task force; this is because that the task force will be going up to the stranger's `cavern world' from which he fell. (The people of this cavern world have no comprehension of the earth's surface and its open sky). The messiah states he can take the task force to the wells which it can descend to attack Snetha from above. The messiah goes with the task force but when it reaches the surface it has a skirmish with WWII Rumanian partisans. A captured partisan by the name of Stephen - a German deserter - will - against his will - take the task force to the wells. However, the task force is finally surrounded at the wells and defeated by superior German and Rumanian military forces. The `messiah' falls down a well to complete a `circle'. Stephen is amongst the captured prisoners of the task force. Many of these men die in the concentration camp of which Stephen was a guard. Stephen meets an old man in his hut with whom he enters into several philosophical conversations dealing - for example - with the issue of the personal sacrifice which can occur in upholding principles such as justice, human integrity and freedom in a tyranny. Stephen completes his `circle' whereby as a former guard who has rejected the mass genocide policy of his political masters he too becomes another victim of such state horror. i.e. the book ends with his death in a gas chamber.


Cover text:


black fez classic


In an enormous underground cavern are men and women who exist in a mechanized society which is motivated by the same cynical principles of war and efficiency of economy which enslave our surface world. In fact, in many ways, it could be said this underworld serves as a metaphor for each large-scale civilization and for each individual subconscious. A stranger travels through the dark sides and cold nights of these varying human geographies: the one universal theme which is constantly explored in such blinding scenarios is that amongst those who are inspired to seek out spiritual realities such as love, justice and compassion in their quest to be truly alive there can emerge the risk of having to face the ultimate loss. The question such individuals must ask: is it really worth it giving up one’s life for what is the truth and for what is good within this world and within every soul?    







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