The issue begins with Vera Cantor, Beast's girlfriend reading a poem written by him with flowers in her hands as a excuse for his travel to New Mexico without explanations. Maybe she's not done with him after all.
In Angel's Aerie, the Defenders are having breakfast when Moondragon walks in wearing her new black and white clothes. She did that because of her recent changes, in which she was finally able to take off the tiara that restrained her powers. She finally had found out what Odin wanted by having that tiara on her - with great powers come great responsibilities. Later Moondragon says to Cloud that she had being using her powers to make Cloud (and Angel and Iceman) fall in love with her just to remove her tiara and that she/he doesn't really love her--although Cloud still believes s/he does truly love Moondragon.
Some days later in a small town with good morals, a deputy asks his son in the jail why he had done some unknown act. The boy replies that his father wouldn't understand him. Then the father beats his son and the boy says he did it because he hates his father. Next morning a woman named Edna Mae arrives at deputy's house and says she doesn't blame him and his wife because of what their son had done to her. She just asks them to see the boy again because she wants to understand what happened. In the jail, the boy says he did it just because she was there, available, and because she is black, and his eyes blinked in a strange way. We get the sense both that he raped her, and that he has powers.
Moondragon feels his energy, and alerts the Defenders about the problem. They don't really believe in her but some agree to investigate. Beast, Iceman and Gargoyle decide not to go. Beast doesn't trust the new Moondragon, Iceman doesn't want to stay around the male Cloud and Gargoyle is injured after their recent battle, when he had lost his hand.
Meanwhile, a cow on a farm near the Defender's base gives birth to a disgusting semi-human, semi-plant figure, which proceeds to kill all the farmers.
When they arrive at the city, a riot is about to begin because of a group of racists that want the release of Danny Shepard--the young boy who was arrested because what he had done to Edna Mae. The Defenders manage to calm the crowd, but clearly the town is literally up in arms about the event. At Danny's trial, Edna finally tells us what happened - her student Danny had written a poem to her and after she said it was beautiful he grabs her, his eyes glowed and then assaulted her.
Danny declares himself innocent because violence is everywhere, doesn't mean anything, and once again demeans her due to her race. Suddenly a man rises up from the crowd and shoots at Danny. Moondragon stops the bullet and then makes everyone tell the truth with her powers. Danny says, strangely, that he just wanted break their hearts. Edna Mae then says that she actually passed out after reviving some bad memories from her past when Danny looked at her and uses his powers. She actually hasn't been assaulted by him.
It turns out that Danny actually has the power to absorb people's pain and sadness, thereby healing them. By creating the worst possible pain in the town, he hoped to heal it. He does in fact absorb all the pain in the room, and walks out, presumably to help others.
At the end a strange plant grows fast at the bottom of Defenders' home. Could it be Ephraim Soles again?