The Defenders are on edge because of multiple threats from Manslaughter. He goes after each member of the Defenders. Cloud and Moondragon’s relationship evolves.
Beast arrives at Angel's Aerie in New Mexico on foot, because no one had shown up in the airport to pick up him, and now it appears that no one is at the Defenders' home. When he enters, someone grabs him from behind, but it is Valkyrie, scared that Beast could be the one who has been threatening them during the past days. Someone named Manslaughter left a message on the answering machine saying that he will kill them all.
Then the Defenders tell Beast what happened over the last few days: Cloud was having a sun bath when some roses appeared around her neck, which turned out to be snakes that tried to kill her. Valkyrie killed the snakes, and they found a note telling them not to sleep anymore or the Manslaughter would kill them. Angel flew all over the house but couldn't find anyone hidden. Then Iceman found another note on Angel's wings saying "Imagine if it was a dagger!" Another time, Iceman was working out when a piece of his exercise machine broke and fell upon his chest, burning him even in his ice form. Later Gargoyle vanished away screaming in front of Moondragon with no explanations. When Valkyrie arrived in the room and try to grab her sword, she found another note: "She who lives by the sword shall die by the sword."
By now all the Defenders are extremely nervous, as Manslaughter has gotten past all their defenses without any trace.
Back in the present, Manslaughter shows up in the room with Valkyrie's sword in his hands. He tells everyone he will kill them all one by one, then disappears. The Defenders decide to stay together and face the him, but nothing happens until the night.
Cloud has to go to the bathroom and there Manslaughter attacks and cuts her throat. Then because of Cloud's death they all decide it is time to hunt and kill Manslaughter. Suddenly he appears above Iceman and breaks his neck - two down. Angel finds him and flies over him, but Manslaughter throws some gas on him and Angel has to break the window to escape. Angel is to weak to fly away and falls down the hill. With three Defenders killed, now is the time to Valkyrie to confront him, but he gives her a poisoned cut with her own sword. Moondragon now finds him and attacks with her mind blast, but this only merges their minds, so that when Manslaughter cuts his hands, Moondragon also feels it. Now, if she kills him, she dies with him.
But suddenly Cloud and Iceman are back, and attack him with ice and lightning. The whole event was actually a mastermind plan made by Beast to make Manslaughter believe that he had killed everyone of them. Cloud had turned her neck into smoke when he cut it, then Cloud was disguised as Iceman when he had his neck broken. Iceman used his powers to prevent Angel from falling down the hill and then froze Angel and Valkyrie to slow down the poison on them until they could cure them.
At the end Moondragon wants to kill Manslaughter because of what he had done to her, making her bleed and suffer, but Cloud comforts her, and (in a surprising action for 1984) declares her love for Moondragon.