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Hickson has "sociopathic tendencies" (which he himself acknowledged) and is very strong-willed. He believes he was a failure at everything except being a soldier.
Cole Hickson and his sister grew up with a drunk abusive father. At age fourteen he ran away from home, and lived a poor lifestyle until he enlisted in the military.
Hickson believed himself to be a failure at everything he had tried except for being a soldier. He racked up many confirmed kills and earned the nickname "Dapper Death".
Prisoner of WarEdit
In 2488, during the Guild Wars, Hickson spent time at Kel-Morian Internment Camp-36 on Turaxis II, where he was tortured. He resisted by focusing on pleasant memories, which he called "dislocation". Two weeks later his captors threw a soldier from another unit, Jim Raynor, into his cell. The captors continually asked Raynor about neural resocialization while torturing him. When they asked Hickson the same questions, he refused to say a word. Hickson ignored Raynor at first, but eventually came to believe that Raynor was a good and decent person, unlike himself, but he could redeem himself by teaching Raynor how to resist.
A rescue team was dispatched to the prison in order to rescue guards such as Lars Trakken. When Trakken was wounded, Hickson attacked him, stealing his weapon and uniform, and took his place. Hickson escaped along with the guards. Meanwhile Trakken was left behind to die at the hands of the zerg. Trakken survived and became his enemy. Hickson's experience mentally scarred him, giving him flashbacks.
None of us do, Cole. But what choice is there? We either make the rendezvous...or we run and keep running."
By 2500 he had suffered an injury from shrapnel, permanently scarring the left side of his face. He was recovering in a hospital while the rest of the squad participated in the Battle of Atticus Minor.
The mission failed and the team was "burned" by their handler, Tamsen Cauley. Team member Brock Valevoss personally confronted Cauley while the rest of the team went to see a recuperating Hickson. The group became suspicious of Valevoss, especially when he hired them for a mission at Tyrador VIII. Hickson suggested they use extra precautions. While the group pretended that Hickson had suffered complications and couldn't come, he was picking a sniper position. The War Pigs were attacked by Cerberus Program troops, but Hickson's sniping played a significant role in War Pigs' escape. The group agreed to scatter and not contact each other.
In 2502, Tamsen Cauley met Hickson, who was incarcerated at the New Folsom Prison. He offered him his freedom (and removal of his crime record) if he would reunite the War Pigs for a job — the assassination of Jim Raynor.
In order to ensure Hickson's loyalty, Cauley subjected him to an experimental form of neural resocialization. Burrowed in his subconscious, it would only activate when exposed to a programmed prompt, which would cause him to kill Raynor and the War Pigs. This would cause Hickson to behave very strangely, his resulting new attitude consequently raising suspicion from Turfa Dei and Nuura Joss.
The New War PigsEdit
Hickson was plagued by a lack of focus, caused by flashbacks to the zerg invasion of Los Andares, causing him to forget basic tactics. In addition, his team became suspicious since he seemed to be "friendly" with Cauley.
Hickson and most of the other War Pigs were captured by the Screaming Skulls when they tried to get the General Lee repaired. The Screaming Skulls wanted new "recruits" for their organization. Hickson wasn't interested and threatened the pirate leader, Wendell Carver. When Romy Pyrius created a major distraction, Hickson and Vin Iggins escaped from captivity, quickly acquiring weapons. However, they were attacked by cybercats and Hickson's flashbacks slowed his combat reactions. He was still able to rescue Iggins, however.
Hickson rescued the now-dead pirates' prisoners and told them the price of freedom was repairing the General Lee.
Romy Pyrius smuggled a xel'naga artifact aboard the General Lee, and its "soul" began to affect the human minds aboard the ship. Hickson felt as if he was trying to remember something important, giving him a headache, and it had a stronger effect on Turfa Dei and Iggins. This came at a bad time for the War Pigs — they were hosting Denny Houston, a fixer, aboard the General Lee. Houston would trade his knowledge of Jim Raynor's whereabouts to the War Pigs in exchange for the kidnapping of his wife, Ellen. Dei had a violent reaction to that, but Hickson claimed it was worth it since it would lead to clearing their records.
Hickson and Iggins kidnapped the target, but Iggins' mental state caused him to overreact and then freeze on the job. Once aboard the General Lee again, Turfa Dei confronted Hickson on the morality of their actions, leading to a fistfight. By this point, Romy Pyrius had noticed the others' odd behavior. He broke up the fight, but when Hickson asked him to analyze Iggins, Pyrius' skills weren't up to the task.
Iggins finally snapped, shooting Denny Houston and trying to kill Ellen, who reminded him of his wife (who had also been killed). Hickson and Ellen subdued Iggins, giving Ellen the space to take Iggins' gun and kill Denny with it, before Denny could reveal Jim Raynor's location. The chaos continued as the General Lee was boarded by three Dark Templar, looking for the xel'naga artifact. They explained its effects and vanished with it, but not before warning the War Pigs not to harm Raynor.
Hickson's frustration at not finding Raynor mounted when Turfa Dei's hometown on Agria was massacred. While Dei hunted the killer, Hickson cross-referenced Denny Houston's alibi's travel bookings with zerg-infested worlds in the past three months in an effort to narrow the search for Raynor, hoping to meet Cauley's deadline. However, the other War Pigs, especially Nuura Joss, harangued him on this, questioning how he had changed since the War Pigs previously broke up. Outvoted, Hickson agreed to help Dei rescue his people.
Hickson tracked Raynor to Urona Sigma based on the information from Houston's files. While there, he seemed obsessed with fine-tuning his armor and looking at the long-range sensors, going without sleep for seventy-two hours. Along with his previous strange behavior, this prompted Nuura Joss to investigate him.
Hickson called down Turfa Dei, Iggins and Romy Pyrius with him after they noticed Raynor's Raiders dropships. The team followed them down to the surface, but they had disappeared, and the War Pigs found themselves surrounded by zerg. They jumped off a cliff into water, saving them from the zerg and finding the Raiders' dropships.
They discovered the underground Raiders' base, but Raynor was ready for them and forced them to surrender. As an old friend of Hickson's, he trusted him. As Hickson pulled his hidden weapon, Joss received a transmission from her old friend, Marcus from Special Services. He told her about Hickson's resocialization, but she was unable to warn the War Pigs due to an attack against the General Lee by Lars Trakken.
Hickson pointed his pistol at Raynor's face, prompting a stand-off. Raynor relieved the confusion as he recognized Hickson's resocialization from his facial expression. They were interrupted by a zerg invasion, which gave Turfa Dei the opportunity to grab Hickson's gun hand. However, the battle with the zerg enabled Hickson to flee. He crawled up a tunnel to the surface and ambushed Raynor there, one again pointing his pistol in Raynor's face.
Raynor reminded Hickson of "dislocation", which he could use to resist the resocialization. Hickson screamed in agony and fell to the ground. Romy Pyrius examined him, but Raynor warned the War Pigs it might not matter, as a protoss fleet had begun the purification of the planet.
Hickson lay unconscious from fighting the resocialization. While Raynor and the War Pigs prepared for death, Romy Pyrius injected himself with drugs, reminding him of previous wrongdoing.
Lars Trakken, unable to restrain himself from trying to kill Hickson, descended to the surface with a number of Cerberus heavies. He offered to let the War Pigs live if they only handed over Hickson. Raynor noted Trakken's unusual behavior and on his suggestion, the War Pigs gave up. Trakken shouted his hatred of Hickson into the latter's face, distracting him enough for Raynor and the War Pigs to surprise his troops. Hickson finally awoke and, admitting to not even recognizing Trakken, grappled with him. As a nydus worm emerged and released zerglings, Pyrius swung into action, shooting Trakken in the shoulder and leaving him for the zerglings. Then Pyrius pulled Hickson to safety, only to be shot from behind by a Cerberus heavy. The War Pigs stole Trakken's dropship.
As the War Pigs and Raynor hid out on the General Lee, Hickson pledged revenge on Tamsen Cauley for what was done to him, as it had indirectly cost Pyrius his life. The rest of the War Pigs knew it was a suicidal plan, but agreed anyway.
Previews and NotesEdit
The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft (comic) which is no longer valid.
According to preview information, Cole Hickson is 31 years old, 187 cm (6'2") tall and weighs 98 kg (215 pounds). His infraction was classified along with his infantry designation and specialization.
The original character design for Hickson was scarred to the point of being difficult to recognize; he was missing his left ear and scar tissue overlapped his left eye. He got the scars because he didn't "duck when the shrap's flying."