It is the aftermath of a great battle between August Masters and his shadowy CIB agency, who were trying to use some psychics against the USSR, and the Defenders. The Defenders find themselves stunned on the ground after an explosion. As Dr. Strange explains, the telepaths decided to kill themselves rather than be used by the CIB. Kyle Richmond, working with them, set off the mountain's self-destruct, killing himself and them.
The Defenders, especially Hellcat, are shocked and can't cope with the death of their longtime member and friend. She is, however, glad to see that Daimon Hellstrom has rejoined them at the site. They start to leave, when one of the "super-patriots" comes out of hiding and shoots Valkyrie in the back with a hand-held missile, killing her as well.
Now the Defenders are doubly stunned. As Hellcat points out, none of them have even been badly hurt before.
They go back to their headquarters and grieve. Hellstrom points out that if there are demons of hate, as he has had first-hand experience with, their must be a lord of love to balance it out.
They hold a funeral in upstate New York, with only Hellcat staying away. Many other heroes that knew Nighthawk and Valkyrie attend, and Strange lights an eternal flame.
Back at home, Patsy sees the ghost of Val, and freaks out. Meanwhile, the Enchantress, a longtime foe of Valkyrie, goes to Karnilla in Nornheim, seeking the Rose of Purity. After trading some barbs, Karnilla shows her where it is.
Patsy tells the other Defenders about the ghost, which reappears in front of all of them. They hold a seance, and the ghost tells them that Val's spirit is not dead. Only the body she was inhabiting, which really belonged to Barbara Norriss, died. Her own body, which is inhabited by the spirit of Barbara Norriss in Niffleheim, is still alive. If Val's spirit isn't reconnected with it, it will dissipate.
The Enchantress, however, shows up and demands that the Defenders do her bidding if they want to see Valkyrie again.