Chapter Sixteen

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Four-and-a-Half Years Earlier

Dr. Citino, the surgeon who had performed the nephrectomy on Scott's father was a difficult man to find any information on, despite all of the manners by which Scott had access to the average person's lives using online databases.

He'd spent hours searching through and hacking various university and hospital databases in order to see what he could find out about the man, but at virtually every stop he made along the digital journey, there was little new or fresh evidence in place.

It was almost, if Scott were to speculate wildly, as if somebody had gone in, within a single system, and entered a basic single paragraph worth of information about the man – like cribbed notes from a Wikipedia entry, the information about Citino that appeared on various websites  and in informational databases was almost the exact same word for word.

Citino grew up in a small town in Eastern Ontario, went to Arnprior High School, attended the undergraduate medical program at the University of Ottawa, then moved to Laurentian University where he received his MD. He was single, never married, had no children, and, apart from becoming a surgeon was unremarkable in virtually every possible way.  There were only a handful of pictures of him as a student at both institutions as well as in his roll on the staff at the University hospital in Sudbury, where he was an attending physician with a specialty in surgery. There were a few high school pictures of him, but he hadn't been a member of any clubs and thus, apart from a few class photos of him through the years, there were no other images of him from high school.

The man drove a late eighties Ford Taurus, never had a single speeding ticket, parking ticket or accident claim on his vehicle. His criminal record, like his driving record, was untarnished and completely clean.  He had a locked Facebook profile – although it was not at all hard for Scott to gain access to his full wall – with a simple photo (one of his staff pictures from his intern days at Laurentian hospital), a handful of friends and less than a dozen updates.  Similarly, he had an old neglected and poorly established MySpace page with the same photo and a couple of lines of text about him. The only new information there was a line expressing his enjoyment of honkytonk and new country music.

Digging deeper into Citino's medical records on staff, Scott had been able to compile some of the stats on his surgeries.  They were, like his driving and criminal records, unblemished in any way – but, like the rest of his life, they were also not at all remarkable in any way either. 

Scott had spent several weeks combing through the various records, medical charts and reports in which Citino was named in any way, whether it had been as his time as a full-fledged surgeon or whether it had anything to do with his time as a medical intern or even med student.

About the only interesting thing Scott had found was, back before medical school, when Citino was an undergrad at the University of Ottawa, he had spent a co-op term on the fourth floor of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre where he had worked as part of the team that had treated Wendel Schmidt, a CSIS agent during his stay at the hospital following a mental breakdown he had incurred.

Scott found himself reading more about Schmidt and his exemplary record as a field intelligence agent, working on special projects and high tech espionage, rather than following up on Citino himself. Time and again, he caught himself following links to information and profile details about Schmidt, and, only after half an hour of falling down another rabbit hole, realized he had gone on a tangent and was reading about the agent's work and experiences, speculation about the top secret program he had been working on which caused the breakdown, instead of going back to look at Citino.

What does it say about a man's intrigue and presence in society when one of the most interesting things you can say about him has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with a particular patient he treated – or, in the case of Citino, he wasn't even the lead physician, but rather an intern charged with doing some of the menial tasks and examinations.

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