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Unrelenting Tide: A Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Adventure (Children of the Elements Book 4), page 1


Unrelenting Tide: A Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Adventure (Children of the Elements Book 4)

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Unrelenting Tide: A Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Adventure (Children of the Elements Book 4)


  Unrelenting Tide


  Books by Alexa Dare


  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39


  About the Author

  Unrelenting Tide

  Children of the Elements, Book 4


  Alexa Dare

  About Unrelenting Tide

  When nature refuses to be controlled, can mankind endure?

  Savage winds and dire rumblings persist...

  Diving into the depths of chaos, Author Alexa Dare, in Book Four of the Children of the Elements series, creates a desolate world in which a teenage former tech expert and a group of children with supernatural abilities struggle to survive attacks by mutated creatures and new world zombies.

  The inferno rages on...

  Seventeen-year-old Brody Thackett must battle an evil project scientist and rein in a thirteen-year-old whose out-of-kilter emotions brings forth violent never-ending torrential rain.

  And water covers the earth...

  With no electronics, Wi-Fi, or web anything, Brody and the children struggle to adapt to and weather an ever-changing, unraveling world. An unpredictable Hannah Jenkins, pursued by Scientist Nora Hicks, battles for control of her fluctuating psychic powers to stay afloat in an unrelenting tide.

  Unrelenting Tide

  Children of the Elements, Book 4

  By: Alexa Dare

  Copyright © 2018, Towering Pines Publishing LLC

  All Rights Reserved

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

  Edition: October 2018

  Books by Alexa Dare

  ~~~Post-Apocolyptic/Dystopian Adventure~~~

  Children of the Elements Series

  Savage Winds (Book 1)

  Dire Rumblings (Book 2)

  Raging Inferno (Book 3)

  Unrelenting Tide (Book 4)

  Merciless Void (Book 5)

  ~~~Fated Mate Paranormal Romance~~~

  Knight Fever Series

  Where love and the supernatural collide.

  Wolf’s Pursuit (Book 1)

  Sorcerer’s Conquest (Book 2)

  Shifter’s Need (Book 3) (Coming Soon!)

  ~~~Adventurous Timeswept Romance~~~

  Hidden Cove Trilogy

  Three women, three timeswept paths to destiny.

  From the Mist (Book 1)

  Of the Deep (Book 2)

  On the Edge (Book 3)

  Hidden Cove: The Complete Series

  For information about new releases, sign up for Alexa’s spam-free newsletter. Subscribers will also receive special offers and access to exclusive giveaways.





  In the five-book epic post-apocalyptic adventure, brainwaves altered by a covert government project based out of the Secret City of Oak Ridge, the Children of the Elements are brought together and tested as weapons of mass destruction. Their struggle to free themselves and survive in the hostile East Tennessee mountains creates massive chaos and threatens to bring about the destruction of the human race.

  When nature, put into the hands of children that rule wind, earth, fire, water, and the void, refuses to be controlled, can mankind endure?

  Savage Winds (Book 1)

  Dire Rumblings (Book 2)

  Raging Inferno (Book 3)

  Unrelenting Tide (Book 4)

  Merciless Void (Book 5)

  Chapter 1

  Like dead, greedy hands, a tight band of sorrow choked seventeen-year-old Brody Thackett. Tears pooled hot beneath his eyelids, and a sharp tartness soaked his tongue with too much spit. Just like a tempest, the missing of his brother and the desire for what the world once was never seemed to end.

  In the dim orange glow of midday on Day 1, a Thursday, after the ongoing magnetic storm was set in motion, Brody stood beside his older brother’s grave.

  A stinging rain fell as if the heavens themselves cried.

  Man, the loss of a loved one…

  Not fucking easy.

  But then again each of the Children of the Elements lost people dear to them. Due to a whacko scheme that turned out to be all too real.

  Cantrell’s grave blurred. Brody blinked lots. From the Rocky Top peak, he glanced at the nearby hills.

  Rolling green East Tennessee hills reached toward black, clouds where orange orbs pulsed within thick foggy layers. The clouds drew the stink of the dead upward until the funk met the sky. Part of the dead nasty smell wafted up from beneath the knee-high rock mound.

  The same rotten stench rose from the zombie remains of his brother near the trashed Rocky Top Observatory. Like a creepy sentinel, the steel and glass skeleton stood above the ruined town of Rogersville.

  Above the clouds, lightning slashed white, shooting sideways and up instead of toward the ground. Growling thunder, as if in warning, rumbled low and steady.

  Soggy khakis and an olive drab t-shirt clung to his flesh. As he knelt beside the pile of fist-sized rocks, he squished.

  Even beaten down by the drizzle, human decay settled harsh. Made him long for a toothbrush and extra-minty toothpaste. Also, a good tongue scrub was in order, until the trace of rotten detritus eased.

  The stink pushed aside the scent of the purple flowers on the vines twisting over the stones.

  Even so, Brody refused to be chased away.

  Heavy hearted, he bowed his head and said, “Nothing has been normal since the night I tried to humor you about your off-the-wall conspiracy theory.”

  He chunked a shifted stone back on top of the pile.

  “Man, I thought you were out there. A little girl that played with the wind. A boy that worked the ground to grow things and caused the earth to quake. Then twins that ruled fire and water.”

  He wagged his chin.

  So hard to believe.

  “After that, we found out about the teen and the fifth element. Next, that you and I were also used in the secret project. The bad guys chased my butt all over these hills. I was waylaid. You turned on me, then—”
r />   With a sigh, he touched the soft, purple-pink petals of the vine covering the grave mound.

  “Heck, the whole thing sounds crazy. I haven’t even gotten to the militia that meant to use us to take over the world. Locals meaning to stone us to death. Or the zombies. Man, it’s been close to two weeks since our lives went all to crap. So much bad stuff has happened in such a short time. The world has completely changed. ”

  “The bolts are drawing down toward the ground. I felt the shift.” Thirteen-year-old Abe Jenkins stood with Junior Burke on the edge of the carless parking lot.

  Along the pavement, Corpses littered the lot like cord wood strewn over asphalt. Green flies landed on the former zombies. Wisps of smoke kept the flies at bay from the bodies of militia and locals.

  Abe, the boy twin, held the power to ignite flames with just a look. So his being able to sense an electric or magnetic field (or EMF) shift made sense.

  “No rhyme or reason between the build ups.” Brody rubbed his chin. “There has to be a pattern.”

  “I counted 106 in and out breaths since the last hit. So far.” Junior, small for a ten-year-old, cast wary glances at the sky. Clearly, the young kid was much more at ease inside the tunnels below. He shouted, “108.”

  The freaky storm—caused by one of Brody’s over-taxed devices—built clouds as dark as coal. Short pauses existed amid the bolts’ zapping and the boosting of EMFs.

  But dang, the timing of the builds didn’t track.

  They took a chance by coming to the surface. Even so, since he and the boys must move on, Brody had to say one last goodbye.

  A sad flipping time.

  After all, they’d failed to find the girls. The whacko project boss lady took Abe’s twin sister Hannah and seven-year-old Darcy Lynn only hours ago. Even after searching what parts of the building they could access, there was no sign of Brody’s Uncle Merv, or Abe and Hannah’s caretaker Irene.

  A bolt zagged and struck the building roof in a rattling boom. Tiny, sparking bolts fingered from the built-in lightning rod like a hungry zombie clawing through the bars of a fence.

  “110,” yelled Junior.

  “Not even time to pile the bodies to bury them.” Abe stared hard at the dead with his fire-starting gaze. “Maybe burning’s better.”

  “Best if we could make a pile of them.” Junior’s freckled face was set too serious for an eleven-year-old.

  Charged metallic ions from the bolt’s blast packed the air and filled Brody’s nose and mouth.

  A heck of a lot better than dead body odor and taste.

  Bodies of zombies and of local people whose minds had been changed by the storm’s high EMFs lay graying and rotting in the parking lot.

  None moved. Thank goodness.

  Another forked bolt blasted the rock where Abe had put on a fire show. Stripped of their powers, the boys had used Junior’s plant stash to create flames to distract a hostile crowd

  “What a holy crap mess, bro.” The ache of missing staked Brody to the spot.

  The EMF blast had taken out the zombies; however, the storm, capable of taking out magnetic or electric pulses, raged on. The rolling clouds spread like a rampant zombie virus.

  Vincent, the Master of the Void, created the virus. The poor kid was the son of the boss lady scientist. All of his life, forced to draw, with pencil and paper, conjuring plagues into being.

  “Come on, Brody. We’d better get back inside the ground.” Junior’s brows reached for his dark blond hair.

  A yellow spear flashed and hit the rocks of Cantrell’s grave. Shards of stone exploded toward the sky.

  The force of the blow knocked Brody off his feet.

  Several yards from the grave, Brody slammed onto his back. Flashes blipped in front of his closed lids. Like waves, dull throbs of pain surged from his back to his front. From the ache inside his skull, he asked, “Abe? Junior?”

  Hands tugged at his legs and arms.

  “We weren’t hit.” Junior sounded far away. “But, um—”

  “Brody,” Abe patted Brody’s chest. “You’re not going to believe this.”

  “From bad to worse,” said Junior in a slow drawl. “Always.”

  In sandbagged flutters, Brody pried open his eyes.

  Abe pointed.

  On the pavement, bodies twitched.

  “Oh, heck no.” Reality punched Brody in the gut. “Their lower brain stems rebooted. The viable odds of them reviving after death—”

  “You’re doing the brainiac thing again.” Abe tugged his arm to pull him to sit upright.

  What good was a super-charged tech guru in a world where gadgets no longer worked? Brody’s mind boost helped him to decipher language and code. He was a whiz at building gadgets and fixing gear.

  With the last lightning strike episode, his thoughts shot into hyper drive.

  Not a bad place to be for a techno geek.

  Another bolt, varoom, split a tree trunk on the far side of the lot.

  The strike’s wham jarred Brody’s eardrums sending a shrill tone to ping-pong inside his head. In his cheeks, metal sourness twinged.

  Flaring flames roared in the treetops. Whitish gray smoke slicked the air, and green leaves and nettles crackled.

  Junior grabbed Brody’s and Abe’s upper arms.

  “Wait.” Brody squeezed Junior’s wrist.

  The arms of the locals taken out by the earlier EMF blast twitched and reached, while their heads rose and they looked around. Not next-meal sniffing, but with purpose and intent, while the more animal-like, twice-dead zombies lumbered to their feet.

  Brody could almost sniff the burn of rubber as the wheels in his head seared through his gray matter. “I’m close to coming up with a theory as to how—”

  “There they are.” A charred dead woman aimed a crooked finger at the boys and Brody. “Get them.”

  “Oh, crap.” He gulped. “The fresh zombies can talk and think.”

  “I’ll take care of the ones we know were zombies.” Abe aimed his fire-starting stare.

  The original growling, non-talking zombies burst into flames. Stiff arms flapping, dozens of gray-skinned zombies shrieked in gurgling screams. Tattered, gore-smeared clothes burst into flame, and rancid flesh sizzled.

  “No bacon for me.” Junior’s freckles dotted in his paleness. “Not anytime soon.”

  Brody, grateful to his enhanced Uncle for healing him, sprang to his feet.

  “The others are okay,” Abe said. “Real people. Right?”

  “They look dead to me,” said Junior in a squeaky voice.

  The New World zombies avoided the fiery pillars of dead flesh yet lifted their noses and sniffed.

  With hair melted to her scalp by an earlier bolt hit, a woman whose head lolled on her neck said, “Fresh meat.”

  “Us?” Junior’s eyes popped wide.

  “Burn the grave too.” Brody couldn’t bear his brother rising again.

  “Are you sure?” Sad and aged beyond his years, Abe’s gaze rested on Brody.

  How many times did he have to ask little kids to do such awful things? Was he any worse than the project staff or the local militia that wanted to get their hands on the kids?

  “I’m sure,” he croaked out. Once again, he doomed his brother, Cantrell, to perish.

  With Abe’s stare at the thin layer of rocks tumbled atop the grave, flame engulfed the spaces around the piled stones. “Sorry, Brody.”

  “Me too.” His throat pinched hot and tight.

  “Fresh. Fresh. Fresh.” Growling and drooling, the group of revived zombie people shuffled forward.

  “Burn them, Abe,” Junior yelled.

  “But they’re talking,” Abe said, shaking his head. “They can’t be dead.”

  “No time for thinking or chitchat.” Junior grabbed hold of both Abe and Brody’s wrists and curled his bare toes against the ground. “Hang on.”

  With a shift of the ground falling away, a giant gaping hole opened beneath their feet.

  Chapter 2

  Wishing she could close her eyes and just enjoy the rain, thirteen-year-old Hannah cringed at the too familiar voice.

  “Don’t pretend that you did not hear me,” said a woman.

  Why hadn’t the female scientist left Hannah’s twin brother Abe, their guardians, and her alone? Because of this woman and her stupid project, Louise died in a house fire.

  Inside a closet-sized room of supply shelves, Hannah and Darcy Lynn were tied up, while the Nora lady that kidnapped them stunk like not-so-fresh road kill.

  Hannah refused to look.

  Darcy Lynn lay in a corner as if she were sleeping.

  If only Hannah could sleep.

  Though her stupid, too-large military pants and shirt hung upon her soppy wet, spots of heat, like a sunbeam melting ice, dotted Hannah’s cheeks.

  The foul stink grew stronger.

  So much for thoughts of toast and apple jelly.

  Hannah, tired and with spinning behind her eyes, wrinkled her nose and turned her face farther away.

  “Usually, I would have an issue with your turning away when spoken to,” her captor, Nora Hicks, said. “Yet, you doing so is quite helpful.”

  She grabbed Hannah’s ponytail, high on her scalp above her ear, and jerked.

  Yelping, Hannah lifted her hands to knock her attacker away but found her arms tied behind her back. Unable to pull free, she flinched at the binding cutting into her wrists.

  One hand pulled her hair. Another rolled her over on top of her bound arms.

  “Let go.” Hannah jabbed with her elbows.

  A can’t-be-real face, with skin so gray that the flesh tinged blue and white glazed the eyes, hovered within inches. Reddish brown hair stuck out in clumps, with peeks of scalp in between.

  Nora, thirty or so years old, looked a whole lot older. Not to mention, much more dead. She held a hunting knife. The long silver blade, a foot long with jagged edges, glinted.

  “Don’t.” Hannah pulled against Nora’s grip. At the tug of her hair, sharp pain shot through her scalp.

  Nora brought her face close, fanning rotten breath over Hannah’s face. “The lightning strike singed your lovely hair, dear.”

  Lightning strike?

  Was that why Hannah’s teeth left a hint of metal flavor along the outer edges of her tongue? She fought to angle her head away and yet ease the pull. “Ugh. More than your hair burnt. Road kill has nothing on you.”

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