The science would have Nic stumped for a long time.
Not that he really minded being stuck on the science. As long as he could claim effort and progress they would stay off his back, just like on Mars.
He spent his days experimenting with all kinds of different acid and base combinations, hoping to find one that would work well enough. Aqua regia, a well known acid, seemed to work very well, but was too easily neutralized and didn't work well with his bases. Magnesium hydroxide was a fun one, since occasionally the magnesium exploded, but not nearly powerful enough.
His off hours were spent fiddling with doors, creating new miniature chemical explosives. His favorite new weapon was his chemically powered electric grenade. When thrown, two chemicals would mix, releasing a ridiculous amount of energy in the forms of heat and electricity.He also spent a some time hashing through old records of his base. He was looking for his personal journal, which he had kept faithfully since before his college years. It was very conveniently gone, though. The United must be analyzing it.
After a few days Nic grew desperate enough to try to figure out a radioactive solution for the Red Rain problem himself. He wanted two substances that would decompose into reactive substances. Plus, radiation could only make the weapon more powerful, and Nic liked power.
At first radioactivity experiments went well for Nic. Using certain isotopes of titanium he was able to create enough concentrated gamma rays to spur unnatural acid/base reactions, which gave him hope for managing Nobelium in the future. His dream though, was to use one of those unnatural elements with a half-life of tiny fractions of a second. If a stable version could be built then he would be in business. But no one had done that yet.
Heavy ion manufacture was as old as the hills. Nic had made a few back in high school for a lab project that won first prize. He had actually managed to stabilize Roentgenium temporarily via the combination of several radioactive processes, but that feat was nothing new. If he was going to get a hold on the substances he needed, he would need help from other scientists. Ones who had worked with sub-atomic particles for a long time. He would need help.