Chapter 1: A Gruesome Discovery
Don Lino paced nervously around his office, looking out of the window every now and then.
"Where are they?" he wondered out loud. "They should have been back ages ago"
He called to his faithful octopus friend: "Luca! Come here!" Luca appeared five seconds later.
"What's wrong boss?" he asked, knowing at once that something was not right about Don Lino. The mob boss was looking much stressed this afternoon and Luca knew why. Lino had sent both his sons, Frankie and Lenny off to the wasteland so that Frankie could teach Lenny how to become a proper killer shark. It had been hours and hours since they had left the Titanic. They had still not returned.
"Where could they be?" asked Don Lino for about the fifteenth time that day. "They wouldn't get lost or anything would they?"
"Don't worry boss; they know their way around these waters. They'll turn up…"
The mob boss tried to stay calm. Maybe they were just enjoying themselves. Maybe Frankie had sent Lenny after a speedy shoal of tuna. Maybe Lenny had been trying to eat a sea turtle and had trouble with the hard shell. Maybe, maybe, maybe…
Just then, Don Lino's wife, Melanie swam into the room. She looked just as upset as her husband.
"Oh Luca, what if something awful has happened to them?" she asked, almost tearfully.
"Now don't you worry Melanie" said Luca placing a comforting tentacle around her. "I'll go out there and have a look for 'em"
"Thanks Luca" said Don Lino gratefully. "I'll join ya later if I can. Tell me if you find them"
"No problem boss" said Luca, as he went out through a porthole.
Luca swam slowly in the direction of the wasteland, looking for any sign of Frankie or Lenny. Luca didn't understand why Don Lino had even sent his sons out here in the first place. Lenny was fine, just as he was. Then, Luca had a thought. If Frankie had been trying to teach Lenny how to become a killer shark, chances were that they would have gone to a place with lots of fish.
With the sense of finally knowing where he was going, Luca headed for the Southside Reef.
Luca swam and swam for ages. He ate his lunch which consisted of shrimp sandwiches and a soggy Kelpy Crème doughnut. After his meal, he continued the journey.
Suddenly, Luca jerked to a stop. Something was stopping him from swimming forward. He looked down. One of his tentacles had become entangled in a frond of kelp.
Cursing under his breath, Luca yanked hard on the kelp, trying to break free. Abruptly, the annoying piece of kelp snapped, sending the poor octopus flying through the water at least ten metres before skidding to a stop on the sea floor.
That's when he saw it.
About fifty metres from him, was a dark, blurry object. Luca couldn't quite see what exactly it was. Luca got up and swam cautiously towards it. At first it looked like a rock, but as Luca swam closer and closer, his face became a mask of horror. As he approached the mysterious object, Luca could now clearly make out a lopsided dorsal fin…a pectoral fin…scars…gills…
It was the body of a shark.
Luca hurried towards the body. Who was this poor, unfortunate shark? Was it one of Don Lino's sharks living in the Titanic? Was it a shark who Luca knew well?
Desperate to find the answers to his questions, Luca moved closer to the shark. He could now clearly see that it was a male Great White. Luca also noticed that there were a lot of scars on the tail and dorsal fin.
Then he saw the shark's face…
It was Frankie.
Luca stared in disbelief at the lifeless body which had once been his master's eldest son.
How was he possibly going to explain this to Don Lino and Melanie? What would all the other sharks think? What would Lenny say?
Lenny. Horrible things came to Luca's mind. What if Lenny had met the same fate? After all, he couldn't see Lenny anywhere…
Luca thought about how his boss would react to this. With Frankie dead and Lenny missing, who would be in command when Don Lino retired?
Luca had never felt so miserable in his entire life. He had been such a big part of Frankie's and Lenny's childhood. He remembered how they would play together, swimming around the cruise ship, stealing food from the kitchen. His eyes filled with tears as he remembered how he had once helped Frankie with a jigsaw puzzle. He allowed himself to let out a sob as he remembered how he used to read Lenny a bedtime story every night.
Luca's whole body was now shaking from crying. Frankie and Lenny had made Luca feel like he was a part of the family, even though he was an octopus, not a shark. They always used to call him 'Uncle Luca' and still called him that, even though they were much older.
As he recalled these happy moments of the past, Luca realised that Frankie and Lenny were more than just his future masters. They were practically like little brothers. And now they were gone…forever…
Luca wanted to stay with Frankie. He couldn't bear the thought of going back and telling Don Lino the distressing news. But he knew that he had to go. He knew that he would have to break it to them. It was his duty.
Luca sighed. "Goodbye Frankie" he whispered softly.
Taking once last glance at Frankie's lifeless body, Luca turned around and slowly headed back to the Titanic.