"The Apex" is the pilot episode of Camelorum Adventures, focusing on establishing the setting, introducing Stan Woudean and his reasons behind founding Camelorum Correctional, and also introducing Carly Rancine to the plot.
Waking up in a thunderstorm at night, Carly Rancine discovers that everything about her is a surreal, enigmatic mystery. As she goes looking for answers, however, she unwittingly sets off a chain reaction of paranormal phenomena that leads to the entire city chasing her. It isn't until after her arrest that she finally finds herself on the way to getting anything explained, as she finds herself in the custody of a seemingly benevolent-yet-eccentric old man named Stan Woudean - whose Camelorum Correctional facility turns out to be filled with cases nearly as bizarre as Carly's!
Hearing the drops of rain around her, a 19-year-old Carly Rancine awakens to see what appear to be her clothes - dancing on their own - a short distance away from her. She jumps up and the clothes cease to be animate. She finds herself alone and naked in the rain in a dark parking lot with few cars. She tries desperately to remember anything, but the only thing she can remember is her own name. Confused, and convinced something must have happened to her, she gets dressed quickly and then heads to the nearest set of doors to the nearest building she can find. She is unaware that dark, rainy evening, that she has just walked into the reception lobby of Camelorum Correctional.
As she tries to ask for directions and her whereabouts from the guard on duty - Julie Moolie - Julie interrupts and asks Carly to explain her situation. Carly tries to, but starts sprouting a dandelion from her own scalp. Julie laughs at it at first, interrupting Carly and then mocking her by referring to her as "Daisy-Head Mayzie." But when Julie sprouts a flower too, she reaches for her gun and tries to get Carly to surrender. Carly instead makes some of the lobby room chairs fly up and serve as shields, until the panicked Julie runs out of bullets. Julie drops the gun and demands to see ID as an alarm goes off, but Carly's state ID card is revealed to be mysteriously redacted. It suddenly flies in the air and begins singing taunts at both girls, to the tune of "Hello! Ma Baby." Carly grabs the card and races out the front door - and the card begins flying! She holds on to it for dear life, as she finds herself descending down a hill into the city of Dromedary Heights below.
Stan halfheartedly berates Julie about shooting flying furniture, but quickly changes his tune and calls for a massive manhunt when Julie shows the scalp dandelion she pulled out and proclaims that "the Apex" has arrived. Sirens quickly begin blaring across town, though most assume it to mean a tornado rather than the arrival of "the Apex," and they move to their basements or ignore it as a drill.
Julie questions Stan about why he seems more stressed out than usual. He explains that it is because he suspects that the new Xomian Xiboruty in town may be behind a rapid increase in paranormal incidents; and that he is bothered by the White House treating the situation with such apathy. He then gives Julie some exposition on why Camelorum exists, going into details about its history and briefly mentioning that he had a nephew that became Xomified. He cuts off the conversation before revealing too much.
As Carly lands, her card gets hot to the touch. She throws it at a tree, only to be horrified when the card chops the tree down before ceasing to act up. She abandons both, and heads into town in the rain. She struggles to remember anything from her past, also inquiring to herself as to how much trouble she is really in. She doesn't notice several disasters she causes behind her as she keeps walking - including turning a police car into SMPTE color bars, leading to a major pileup! A man in a duck suit identified only by police radios as "the Pekin" gets loose in the streets, and a man in a gnat costume comments to a mysterious "Arina" that he's moving in. The pileup gets in his way! His high-tech car begins to pick up signals near a fountain in town, and he goes to investigate that instead. Noticing being pinged, a shadowy figure laughs and activates a "security protocol" before packing up his things and evacuating the facility beneath the fountain.
Private Detective Bob Elled receives a call to his office, as he bemoans the "very cliche" weather under which he is receiving the sort of call he is receiving, telling him to be on the lookout for an eccentric young woman in the area that is being followed around by bizarre phenomena - or may be causing it. He looks out the window of his office to see several SWAT personnel gathering the streets to patrol in search of "the Apex," and realizes things are serious. He snarks that he "at least cannot be bothered by a personal life."
Back at Camelorum, various prisoners not in the basement floor level begin looking outside at the "light show" that appears to be going on in the town below. Antonio Martinez, one of the guards, wakes up fellow guard Frank; to inform him that they'll have to be extra careful nobody tries to escape - as the entire city panics at the lights in the sky, which appear to be forming images consistent in "logic" with YouTube Poop videos. Officer Bob Barean threatens to take drastic measures if anyone gets even a little too antsy, but Antonio tells him to "lighten up," then recommends he check the basement for trouble. The basement inmates all deny trouble, but do their best to play Bob for an idiot behind his back. Meanwhile, Antonio makes sure that Kisha Lowpound doesn't make another escape attempt. Frank passes the time by playing hopscotch with the experimental Androida.
A few towns away, the rival organization Llamalorum Correctional also notices the storm system. Mack "the Gangfish" Magee is thrust into a cell violently, as warden Theodore Leenvie interrogates him in a raspy southern accent about why he would attempt to escape on that specific evening. He proposes all manner of horrors that he believes should be done to "teach Ole Gangfish a lesson." Llamalorum is revealed to be a hellhole filled with miserable, mistreated men that appear ready to give up on life. Many of them stand accused of some of the worst crimes in Delaware.
As Carly walks past some apartments, she overhears SWAT in the background shouting about how they need to secure "the Apex." She motions as if she shouting at the sky, but refrains from being loud enough to be heard: "What does that even mean???" She causes a TV in one apartment she walks past to become 11 inches larger - and autostereoscopic! This leads to a nurse named Erin Drunner, the key tenant, getting into an argument with her boyfriend Ahzit Alldae about how they are spending money. The argument becomes so heated, that the SWAT unit takes a break from their pursuit of Carly to break up the fight between Erin and Ahzit. Erin soon finds herself on her way to the Dromedary Heights City Jail - where she is to be kept until she can calm down.
Carly uses the diversion to create more distance between herself and the SWAT unit chasing her; but is nearly discovered by the Gnatmobile - which she causes to grow wings and fly away uncontrollably. (The Gnat does eventually regain control, and lands safely without destroying the car.) Carly makes her way to the campus of Bactrian University, where she unknowingly causes a lightning bolt to turn into an electric lasso and wrap itself around a residence hall. This causes parts of an only half-dressed Mike Bedike and Samantha Garner to run in terror fleeing from Sam's dorm room, while bits and pieces of her one class final project break off from the project, animate, and begin chasing the couple as little raygun-wielding mechanical imps that appear to have homicidal inclinations.
Sam and her friend with benefits are able to kill off the imps using various lobby front desk equipment; but Sam bemoans that this means she has no time to rebuild her experiment. Without it, and with her parents having vanished in the Bermuda Triangle a week ago, she is cut off from a large chunk of her family's money and will have to drop out of school. That class project would have also earned her the full-ride scholarship she needed. Mike informs her of a tropical-themed hotel in the Dromedary Heights Bay Area, that may be willing to hire her - if she needs to quit school and get a job right away. She is less than amused by hearing this; but considers it anyway, given that she is more than likely to flunk out of school without her big science project to back up an entire semester's achievements.
After the Marshals also get involved in the hunt for Carly, she overhears one of them remark about how "the Apex" just sent a car flying. She shouts out: "You think I'm the cause of all this???" - but then realizes she just gave her position away. She runs through a busy downtown road to create distance between herself and her pursuers, leading to some of the cars parked along the road edges hovering in mid-air while other cars appear to be forming vortices similar to black holes. Seeing the Marshals take a shortcut, she puts out her hand to try manipulating objects in her vicinity to shield herself with. A few pickup trucks do become a shield - but then a massive number of rabbits start racing down the street in a stampede, similarly to a bull run. The Marshals park their pickup after swerving to avoid running over the "Running of the Bunnies." Carly begins questioning if attempting to control her power is even wise.
Stan attempts to contact the Marshals as well as the SWAT team to get their take on how to address the Apex's movements. They at first demand to know who he is, but he promises them that he'll reveal them the answer to that in time. He finds out that the Apex's power puts up a defense to every singular type of attack that they launch. He suggests to them that perhaps she does not yet have conscious control of her power; but rather that the power is being controlled by her subconscious. He suggests that they have to keep a safe distance and then overwhelm her power by providing it with too many distractions to possibly address all of them. When asked how he knows this, he merely states "experience."
Carly makes her way to a motel stairway, and begins to despair and panic at the escalation of the manhunt against her. A police helicopter shines a light on her, and then the helicopter grows arms and laughs as it throws the pilots out of the cockpit to fall into trees below. This horrifies her. Several SWAT catch up and try to shoot her with tranquilizer darts. One misses, and the others turn into daffodils. Meanwhile, Stan informs the Marshals witnessing the event that he doesn't believe the Apex to be evil, just scared.
Bob Elled catches up, sneaking ahead of everyone else; and he confronts Carly on the stairway. Carly asks him to stay back, as she is unsure what will happen to him if he threatens her the way the others did. He sees her tears and knows her sense of remorse and fear is genuine. He points to the dart on the ground, and informs Carly that the only way she can save everyone from whatever is happening to her is to tranquilize herself. She looks disgusted at the notion at first, but begins considering it. The SWAT team decides to make a break for the stairway, noting that Carly is distracted. However, the stairs grow spikes that block their path. Police with riot gear show up and begin pounding away at the spikes.
As Bob continues attempting to talk reason with Carly, he starts writing in pain. His head grows massively in size while losing density, until he becomes a living bobblehead toy grinning at Carly in a way that creeps her out. He begs her to inject herself. She finally kneels over and does so, seconds before a sniper takes aim at her. The sniper's bullet hits a pillar instead, then changes into a globe of Uranus. Carly kneels next to "Detective Bobblehead," and apologizes for everything just before passing out from the tranquilizer. SWAT arrive past the concrete spike barrier to find her unconscious on the ground, with a freakish Bobblehead defending her from trigger-happy troops.
Stan arrives at the scene, promising that his Camelorum facility contains rubber rooms that may be able to hold her if she loses control again. He is able to convince everyone that he is qualified to handle cases like Carly's, and they agree to drive Carly unconscious in the back of a prison van to the city jail with Stan in the back to check on her vital signs.
Carly awakes right as she is about to be transported to a holding cell, and finds Stan hovering over her like a father figure. She is startled at first, but Stan relaxes her. He explains to her that she's being called "the Apex" because she is so far the most powerful paranormal phenomenon that the city of Dromedary Heights has ever observed. She asks where she is, and Stan apologizes that she is in jail.
She tries explaining herself, but Stan assures her that she should save her energy for her interrogation day in a week. He informs her that she is facing dozens of charges for "mutilation," destruction of property, and more. He warns Carly that one of the judges that would have heard her case had to recuse himself, after waking up with a party horn for a nose.
She lets Stan know she never intended to cause any mischief, and he lets her know that he knows, as he gives her a hug. He also promises her that if he gets custody of her, he will do everything in his capacity to solve the mystery of her origins - and reunite her with her family. He warns her that there will be many interested parties trying to make bids for her - though most of them would probably just dissect her if they got the chance.
As Stan exits the van, it dawns on Carly that she will have to learn the truth about her origins if she is to have any hope of ever getting out of jail - for the crime of not making sense!
- Carly Rancine, a superpowered and clueless 19-year-old who wakes up in the parking lot of Camelorum Correctional with little memory of who she is. When she and Julie get off to a bad start while Carly is asking for directions, this interaction becomes the catalyst that begins a series of adventures for many in Dromedary Heights.
- Julie Moolie, a flaky guard who is skeptical of Carly's claims, but quickly panics when she observes what Carly can do.
- Stan Woudean, the enigmatic warden of Camelorum, who is implied to have a very complex history with individuals similar to Carly - and is revealed to be on a quest to collect the ones that get into trouble inside his privately-run facility.
- Androida, a gift given to Stan by a friend who was recently fired from Purview Labs, a rival science organization to Camelorum. Androida is an artificial intelligence capable of occupying a variety of bodies, and is intended as part of an ongoing social experiment on how various different prisons' cultures will alter the simulated psychology of a robot - putting the concept of tabula rasa to the test on a non-human subject. "Like 60 Days In, starring Cleverbot!"
- Xiboruty, a shadowy evil alien that Stan suspects to be behind a lot of problems in Dromedary Heights and elsewhere.
- The Gnat, a comical Batman knockoff that patrols the streets of Dromedary Heights.
- Antonio Martinez, a guard at Camelorum who is often oblivious to things in his surroundings. He is often ridiculed by inmates and guards for "confirming Mexican stereotypes," but he never lets this get him down.
- Theodore Leenvie, the sadistic warden of Llamalorum Correctional, a rival institution to Camelorum that objects to Stan's not-nearly-as-cruel-yet-somehow-still-highly-unusual methods of dealing with prisoners. He is named after Simon Legree, the villain in Uncle Tom's Cabin. His first name is Theodore instead of Simon, as a reference to Alvin and the Chipmunks. His surname reflects that he envies Stan's popularity - as opposed to being greedy.
- Mack "Gangfish" Magee, an overly-oppressed inmate at Llamalorum, depicted being tortured by Leenvie.
- Bob Barean, a cruel and all-business guard at Camelorum with severe anger issues. He is concerned that Kisha may try to escape again with all the chaos happening in Dromedary Heights. However, he gets assigned to check on the "extremely bad" girls in the basement cell block.
- Kisha Lowpound, a Camelorum inmate that insists she was framed for dropping an entire stage on top of a coworker back when she worked in showbiz, which was her second career path after she got fired from her previous job as a nurse. Since the woman she blames for framing her was Xomified, she has a small amount of hatred and mistrust for all Xomified Humans. Being put in a storage center that contains a concentrated number of that population leaves Kisha constantly wishing to use her escape artist skills to get out of Camelorum. However, she now has an actual criminal record for her vast number of escape attempts.
- Bob Elled, a private detective who finds himself transformed into a living bobblehead by getting too close to Carly when she is scared.
- Erin Drunner, a nurse who finds herself arguing with her boyfriend over money after Carly makes their TV set 3D, which escalates into a showdown with police and lands her in jail for an evening. Her name is a play on the expression "errand runner." Her problems are based on a true story of someone Tale author Chad once knew, though select details have been changed - particularly to make Carly responsible.
- Ahzit Alldae, Erin's lazy (and verbally abused) Arab boyfriend. His name is a play on the expression "I sit all day."
- Samantha Garner, a struggling college student, whose last chance to remain at Bactrian University is destroyed by Carly's inadvertent interference. She must now look for a job to support herself.
- Mike Bedike, a friend of Samantha's, who helps her fight off the mechanical imps that attack them and also refers her to the tropical-themed motel near the bay as a place to find a job. (He is implied to be a friend with benefits, though such interactions between Mike and Samantha occur strictly off-camera.)
Currently being considered for the end credit music for this episode is "Midday Alarm" by Bigtopp.