TODAY'S SUBJECT:  Bracken in the dark

One of the most mystifying features of the murky conditions surrounding the mission in TSS is the fact that the putative DiF, Bracken, is unaware of critical features of the mission for most of the time leading up to Q's showdown with Schrenk.

We know this from the following passage:


He glanced at Croder, who nodded. "Our information," Bracken said, "had been coming in for quite a time, and from more than one source. We—"

"Quite a time?"

"Some few weeks," he said awkwardly. "That's why it was decided to send you out here. One of the reports said that Schrenk faked his abduction at the Hannover clinic with the help of his friends: he meant us to assume the KGB had got him back inside Lubyanka, so that we'd give up and leave him alone. I wasn't told of this until today, but—" [17:140-142]


Run that by me again, please.  He wasn't told of this *until today*?!  What kind of way is that to run a railroad?  What a bizarre mission:  you send a director like Bracken in at the last minute to replace someone at the Embassy who had to fake hepatitis [04:24], making sure it's a top-level employee ("...first-class...he directed Fenton in Cairo last year [and] got Matthews out of Peking" [02:70]), then set him up to direct an exec in a sector so red that Q can't even get briefed in the car without the KGB crashing the party, and then...

You don't tell him the real situation, so that Q can go chasing after phantoms under the false impression that Schrenk's in danger from the KGB.