Nic re-opened the control panel to his door and used the recording mechanism again, "The scientist welcomes you to the indestructible carrot project."
The next morning Nic went to work from scratch on Red Rain. He did not want to work any faster than necessary, and so did not go back to any of his old records from the base. He assembled all the test tubes he could find and everything and set them up in the explosives testing room. He could work slower if he used those robotic arms for which he had no words which weren't on the wrong side of profane.
The hardest part about Red Rain was that it was supposed to burn through anything... and it was supposed to be borne on water-vapor. Testing both of those was nearly impossible.
The secret of Red Rain was getting both acids and bases to work together on eating something up. Typically, and acid and a base will react when mixed, creating a neutral compound or compounds. What he needed was to either make the acid and base not react, or else make their produced compounds still be acidic and base to continue the reaction. The presence of water was both helpful and harmful, because water is amphiprotic...
Nic's thought processes ran along those lines for many hours, as he ran over the various acid and base options in his head. On Mars they had worked with astatine in the prototypes, but that only worked in the low-gravity environment when they had artificially managed the electromagnetic fields. In other words... maybe lightning could temporarily cause the chemical to do its dirty work, but not much.
Now Nic's thoughts were turning more for Nobelium, named for a man who was, in Nic's estimation, probably the third greatest scientist of the modern era. Alfred Nobel, Albert Einstein, Nic.
Nobelium was a rough one to work with though. Aside from how expensive it was it was almost too strong. Gravitationally and electrically it held onto its protons with an unforgivable might.
Nic knew he'd have to switch for a radioactive solution, but he was no better with radioactivity than he was with computers, and he still hadn't hacked the dining hall mainframe.
The science would have Nic stumped for a long time.