This is the third section of the fourteenth chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.
The dozen ex-fighter ships now mostly missile carriers having barely begin their journey yet already almost at Earth released their first volley of payload. Simple lumps of rock but carefully aimed to strike a small area of an inconsequential part of Africa. Sterilise the area was the plan so that the carrier craft could drop the troops. Sensors on the fighters turned towards the unexpected detonation in the Indian ocean still being a number of light minutes out the details were hard to determine, but that had definitely been a nuclear explosion and it was followed a second or so later by a second at the same location. The AIs on the fighter-missiles bundled up all the information they had and sent it back to their base. They knew that any response would take over fifty minutes, far longer than the planned length of the attack, but procedure was procedure. Whilst this was happening they carried on gathering information on this unexpected phenomenon.
Continuing on with their programmed plans the first of them started their braking manoeuvres so that they would arrive in a staggered formation.