|Author||Randall N. Bills|
|Pages||71 (EPUB edition)|
|Cover Artwork||David Kerber|
Catalyst Game Labs
|First published||02 December 2019|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||2 July 2995 - 11 December 3006|
|Series||MechWarrior 5: Origins|
|Preceded by||Contested Dreams|
|Followed by||Knives in the Dark|
Dissimulate Wanderer, subtitled A MechWarrior 5 Origins Series Story, Installment 5, is an original BattleTech novella penned by Randall N. Bills, offered as a free tie-in product supporting the MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries computer game. It was originally released in electronic format on 02 December 2019, before being also included in an electronic omnibus collection on 12 December 2019, two days after the game's launch. The novella was later re-released as part of The Mercenary Life anthology released 12 April 2021, with an additional author postscript.
Fifteen-year-old Fahad Arazad, being trained as a BattleMech Astech to his Mech Tech father, accompanies him on a once in a lifetime trip to Matamoras to experince the lull in the Sirocco region's relentless windstorms. Witnessing his father cry for the first time as his faith in Allah is reaffirmed at the natural wind-shaped splendor of the region during the Sirocco's eye of the storm, Fahad is much more interested in seeing the workings of the LosTech shelter they are constructing to survive the night. For while his father and his family are a strict adherent of the Azami faith, Fahad is forced to hide that he does not believe.
Three years later back on their homeworld of Al Na'ir, Fahad has found an outlet for masking his lack of faith, secretly meeting with a trio of teenage friends to drink, smoke and discuss their hatred of House Kurita and its oppression of their people. In the middle of a treasonous rant Fahad discovers his father has followed him there, chastising his son for his betrayal of his Azami roots, insisting that even if House Kurita falls short, the Azami themselves will honor the agreement they made with complete fidelity. Despite his vow to redeem his son, over the next two years Fahad continues to secretly meet with his friends as they move toward direct action, culminating in successfully sabotaging a Yori MechWorks facility, the anti-Azami Dieron Military District Warlord publicly shamed when the massive explosion cripples production for years.
In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, Fahad is confronted by his angry father, incensed that he would use the ancient Azami practice of Al-Taqiyya to dissimulate and hide both his lack of faith and treason against House Kurita from his family, exiling him as a Altayih - Wanderer. Vowing to embrace his father's curse and become a mercenary technician, despite Fahad's belief he will find a more welcoming existence within the greater Inner Sphere, he constantly finds himself hampered as much by his Azami heritage as his forthright tongue. It is only when he signs on with the newly formed Chloe's Cavaliers and their first contract searching for relics for Interstellar Expeditions on Lungdo does he finally find among its disparate members the closest approximation of a real home for the first time in his life.
- Sergeant Brooklynn Jales
- Captain Chloe Reed
- Lieutenant Corals
- Dawson Clarmont
- Fahad Arazad
- Jabal Arazad
- Dr Jolinda Hays
- Nikolai Mason
- Ryana Campbell
- Spears (mentioned)
- Sholagar (mentioned)
- Union-class DropShip