Freshnuts, drifted in the cosmic wind. The engine off, electronics off except for one small device drawing minimal power. The device buzzed against his right leg in the pocket of the canvas flight pants. He slouched in the drivers seat beneath a black hoodie and took a pull on the cheroot in his teeth. The smoke drifted into the quiet space of the darkened cockpit and obscured the target of Freshnut’s intense gaze. Beneath him in the quiet, unaware an American F-15 cruised miles beneath him in the Earths orbit. It was on patrol, they always were. Freshnuts sideways smirk gained intensity as he shifted forward in the seat and gripped the wheel. The leather seats creaked in the close quarters and silence, his eye cocked towards the now almost gone F-15 and the growing distance between them. Even something as small as a seat creak could be detected. The scanners on the US military hardware was very precise and sensitive and nothing to be trifled with. The F15 didn’t stop or change course, that was all he had to tell him there was no compromise. The radio and comm hardware was still powered off along with all the engines and electronics. Freshnuts was basically sitting in a tin can full of air that would eventually run out if he didn’t turn the life support hardware back on. As the US Military patrol dissipated on the horizon he switched everything back on. There was only about 2 minutes until the next fighter group made it’s way around the planet. Freshnuts would be long gone by then, hopefully. He winced as he reached out for the engine start, eyes closed in anticipation of… nothing, a click. The turbines didn’t spin up, the light drive didn’t reset. Nothing came on. “No!’ he started to scream, but it choked off into something like “Nnnnnngghhhh” as he realized he was still in range of the Carrier USS Nimitz’s long range lower granularity scanners above the north pole. They might not be able to hear his driver’s seat creak but they could sure hear him yelling in a can in the dead of space.
None of it mattered, Freshnuts launched himself out of the drivers seat and ripped the center console between the seats of the RV off, exposing the engine compartment. The power cells lit up his face from below with their blue light. There was power, the engine’s just not kicking on. Freshnuts reached into the cavity between the seats and grabbed a bundle of wires, pulling out the mass of tangled cables and fiber optics. He untangled a glowing fiber of metal conduit, with unspoken curses and clenched teeth he followed the cable back up into the dash and drivers console. A click and the lead snapped back into the socket in the dash. The RV thumped with a quick shake and the engine turbines began to whine, growing in intensity as Freshnuts jumped up into a crouch and into the drivers seat. He hadn’t bothered to put back the engine cover and the blue lights gained intensity along with the whining engine, The light was too much, he was trying to stealth the US Military, not put up Christmas lights. He reached over with one hand on the wheel and kicked the engine cover back into place, the roar of the engine ceased along with the lights from it as the cover clamped shut.
Freshnuts turned his attention to the windshield and the Earth spinning on the other side of it. His right foot stomped on the gas pedal, the ship jumped to life, spinning into a straight line across the planet, he followed the line of the departing F-15 patrol, staying between the two patrols and matching their speed, a tiny window was all he had needed, just a bubble between the scanners, he exploited it now, cruising ever lower towards the planet and his destination.