The two waste-goers went to a disused quarry outside of Toledo, and found areas at opposite ends where they could be alone. Jesus spent the time stacking rocks in intricately balanced structures, practicing kung fu, that sort of thing. About two weeks in, a Pandoran found him and took a couple of chunks out of him. He was actually pretty worried for a sec - if he could have used his Transmutations, he'd have had no problem, but without them he was getting hurt.
And then he remembered that he could use Reagant to shut Pandorans down. I ruled that using Reagant doesn't count as calling on the Divine Fire, since it's stored in the Athanor and refined. So he shut down the Pandoran and burned it.
Marty, meanwhile, was carving his Ramble (in French) into the walls of a cave. During his time, a couple of people crept down there to see what the "creepy stuff" happening at the quarry was about (read: Ulgan Wasteland). Marty tried to hide, and tried to scare them off, but finally used his Athanor to wake up the spirits of the area and buried himself in a cave-in to avoid losing him time in the wastes.
The other folks drove to Mississippi. They called ahead to Muriel, the mage who ran the bar that Al wound up working at (if you need a refresher, it was this story where they met these mages). She said he was doing fine, and invited the characters to dinner that night (making sure to strengthen her folks' minds against Disquiet). At dinner, they discussed Al (who wasn't present), and one of the mages noted that after Al had arrived as a human, he'd seen huge lion-esque footprints in the spirit world, walking away from the bar. The characters noted that Al had created a Lion Athanor, and that a spirit had apparently not lingered the way it had in Toledo.
That night, they went into the bar and watched as Al made drinks. Hank and Julia discussed how Julia felt about Al leaving, and she finally admitted that she was angry because he'd left without saying goodbye. Hank pointed out that it wasn't really about her, and that Al had done what he needed to do. Nathan, too, mentioned that Al had spoken to him on the morning he'd found Mortality, but that at the time, he hadn't quite understood what Al had meant (he'd been all of a week old at that point, after all). Julia, feeling the stirrings of Vitriol, went up to the bar and got a drink. Al asked if they knew each other, and asked her name. She replied, "Julia," and walked back...feeling the Vitriol-tickle subsiding.
Hank, however, did make a milestone, here - he helped Julia cope with her bitterness. This was the beginning of Hank's step onto Bronze. Julia, meanwhile, was receding from her brief stint on Tin, but wasn't sure where to go. They started heading back to Ohio.
Meanwhile, the other folks had successfully bled off their Torment. And then Marty, trapped in the cave-in and waiting for Jesus to save him, felt Azoth call to Azoth...but not Jesus'. Rusty Nail called to him, saying that Persephone was there. Marty welcomed the chance to speak to her, and Mr. January and Rusty moved the rocks.
Persephone was still pissed at Marty for leaving her behind. Marty still defended that decision, but submitted to Persephone. It became obvious that she had learned who Mama Desta was, and had trouble dealing with that. Rusty and January held Marty down, and Persephone carved out part of his Vitriol. Marty, however, made it very clear that he was allowing this, and that if she ever came back around looking for a fight, he'd kill her (important note, that).
Jesus showed up and asked Marty if he needed help, but Marty refused. Jesus considered attacking anyway, since he knows he needs to fight out of real anger, but chose not to. Once the lacuna was done, Persephone (having lost a dot of Humanity, you'll note) realized something, but didn't say quite what.
Jesus asked Rusty why he was doing this, and Rusty replied that his loyalty was to the throng. "I've been worse," he said.
The others arrived shortly thereafter, and the group of them talked about their next move. Marty felt the need to be around people again, and since Julia was now going back to Aurum (and instructing Jesse in such, which fulfilled a milestone for her), she agreed. The throng headed for Detroit, to spend some time clubbing before tracking down Moses Moon, and the address to which Robert, the serial-killer Redeemed, had addressed his notes.
Before they left, Hank and Julia spoke to their creations, making sure that they didn't feel like Persephone did. They didn't. Marty also received word from Persephone, via the Sigils on the Wind Transmutation: "Humans are weak. You didn't tell me that, because you haven't learned it."