Corporal Kane is a 23-year-old marine who has a shady, cryptic past, and is the talk of the other marines in his Rhino Squad. He was born in Lunar Colony, New Hope, is 5'11", and weighs 180 pounds. He is part of the massive invasion force that strikes the planet of Stroggos shortly after the events of Quake II.
While Kane does not speak in the game, he most likely narrated the Quake 4 trailer with these words about the Strogg:
- "I hear their voices when I sleep. I've seen the worst of war. But I can't escape the images of the Strogg. A metallic spine, jutting awkwardly through muscle. Flesh and bone fused with wires and steel. I hear their voices when I sleep. Created for war, and fueled by the blood of their enemy. But this isn't just a nightmare, it's who I've become."
It is revealed during the game that Kane is the only known survivor of the attack on Space Station Armstrong at the beginning of the Strogg invasion of Earth. He is reassigned to Rhino Squad, where he serves in the retaliatory attack on Stroggos.
While attempting to destroy a Strogg facility, Kane is defeated and captured by the Makron. Deemed suitable for immediate cybernetic augmentation, Kane is taken to a Strogg Medical Facility and shackled to a metal slab mounted on an assembly line. In line for stroggification behind another captured marine, Kane witnesses the gruesome process used by the Strogg to create their soldiers right before he himself is subjected to it.
A laser scanner checks Kane for unknown parameters before he is carted off to the next station, where a large hypodermic needle pumps enormous amounts of steroids into his chest. He is then checked by one of the facility's Strogg scientists, who appears to inspect the wound, gives him another injection, and partially lacerates his face.
The next station is particularly gruesome. A circular saw, mounted on a mechanical arm, proceeds to messily amputate Kane's lower legs above the knee. Kane blacks out, but does not bleed to death despite the obvious severing of his femoral artery.
After regaining consciousness, he is transported to the next station. Mechanical legs are grafted onto the remainders of his thighs, and a system of armor plating is riveted to his torso and extremities.
The fourth station installs a control chip — the neurocyte — in Kane's brain using a large hypodermic needle. He instantly gains the ability to read and understand the Strogg language.
The final stage of the process involves the activation of the neurocyte, allowing the subject to be remotely controlled by the Strogg Nexus. Before this can take place, however, Kane is rescued by his squadmates.
As a result of the operation, Kane is faster, stronger, and has superhuman stamina. He also gains the ability to use certain Strogg technologies, such as teleporters and health stations. Of particular note is his immunity to Strogg laser defence grids, which are instantly lethal to unmodified humans on contact.
Following a medical examination back aboard the USS Hannibal, Kane is greeted by squadmate Lance Corporal, recently promoted to Sergeant Nikolai "Sledge" Slidjonovitch with the words, "Welcome back Corporal Kane. May I be the first to say, you look like shit," a sentiment shared by another squadmate, Corporal William "Billy" Rhodes.
Kane's squadmates change their opinion when it is shown that the Strogg technology embedded within Kane's body can potentially help the humans destroy the Strogg Nexus. When Kane does indeed defeat the Nexus, he only receives a brief three minutes of congratulations from Rhino Squad before he finds that he will be receiving new orders, and shall once again have to plunge into the heart of battle.
Due to the orange coloration of Kane's armour and lack of one or more weapons integrated directly into his limbs, Kane appears to be one of the "Tactical" Strogg that appear later in the game rather than any of the varieties encountered earlier in the game. Tactical Strogg use the same arsenal of weaponry as the player and are much more prone to using cover and ambush tactics than other Strogg. It should be noted that Tactical Strogg do not appear as enemies before Kane himself is Stroggified. This may indicate that Kane is an "early model" of his line and as his neurocyte was neither registered nor activated (which may be the same thing) before he is rescued, he may be beyond re-integration with the Strogg altogether.