neck. "At first, it attracts dogs. Then block their nose." She handed it to Karthik. He started juggling it. "It's warmer than it looks. So you are going use this—" "Not me. You are going to use it." Lilly said, grinning. "Me?" Karthik asked, scratching his neck with the mini crystal ball. "Eww. I'll explain." Lilly explained her plan. It was pretty simple. At first, she will creep up to the west side of the house. Then she will signal Karthik to launch the smell ball to the east side of the house. It will attract dogs and also the guards away from the house. Karthik sighed. "So all I have to do is push this ball in the launcher and launch the ball on the east side of the house...actually, that's pretty easy." Lilly smiled. She wedged the twin guns with silencer into her belt, and pulled out a rubber cord; she stretched it; pleased by its strength she wedged it into her belt. "What's that for?" Karthik asked, pointing at the cable. "Don't tell me that's for choking people?" He gasped. She nodded, and pulled out a Swiss-knife. Her favorite knife. She handed him the launcher. It was a black plastic pistol with the big nozzle. Karthik slipped the ball in the nozzle and pointed the launcher at the sky. Lilly tugged his arm down. "Not now. You idiot." She whispered. "I was just trying..." Karthik frowned. Few minutes later. Karthik sat alone in the car, staring, as Lilly edged her way across the woods; sticking close to the shadows cast by the enormous trees. You are my only hope for rescuing Piper. There was a surge of statics and he heard her voice over the intercom. "Tell me their positions," She ordered. "Uh..." He peered through the binocular. "I see three men on the second floor. Four on the ground with two dogs.They are just meandering around." "Copy that," She replied. She moved swiftly, and efficiently, sticking close to the ground. "Okay. I'm on the west side of the house. Launch the smell ball." Karthik opened the car door and climbed off, stepping on the damp dirt. His breast pocket felt heavy against his chest and was holding the revolver Lilly had given him for his protection. He raised the launching gun and pointed at the east side of the house, but his neck felt itchy, so he dropped it and started scratching his neck. "Have you launched the smell ball?" Lilly asked over the intercom. "I'm on it," Karthik replied. He raised the launching gun and was about to press the trigger when from nowhere a small squirrel landed on his hand. He let out the soft gasp and swung his arm to shove the squirrel off his hand, and unknowingly pressed the trigger. The ball burst out and soared into the night sky. After it crossed a hundred feet, it swooped down and hit the ground with the soft clatter. The glass ball broke into a million small pieces; a green color smog rose from the ground. Karthik watched at his own trembling hand. "Oops..." "What happened? Did you launch it or not?" Lilly asked. "I-I launched it in your direction." Karthik stammered. "You what?" Lilly cried. Karthik dropped the launching gun and hurled himself into the car. He peered through the binocular and gasped in horror. "Lilly," He whispered. "What?" Lilly asked, exasperated. "They are moving in your direction." Then she heard the barking of dogs.
"Take it easy, boy!" The man shouted at the dog. But the dog kept barking and swirling around the dirt path. "What's wrong with them, Mark?" The second guy asked the man timidly. He was also trying to calm down his dog. "Are they sensing someone's presence?" He added. "Beats me. They are acting strangely." Shafts of torchlight bobbed ahead of them as they walked. The dogs kept swirling and Zigzagging around the trees, aimlessly. "Maybe they are ill?" The second guy muttered. He stared at the Mark's forehead and snickered. The Mark's forehead was sore-red as if some had