Cate Archer is exceedingly competent, fiercely intelligent, unabashedly confrontational,
and stunningly attractive. Perhaps because she has had to work so much harder
for recognition and advancement than her male colleagues, she is a sharper,
more intuitive agent. Even her rivals admit that she is a dedicated, loyal
agent who never balks at danger. She has an uncanny gift for reading people
and is also highly attuned to her environment, often registering details or
patterns that others overlook.
Born, reluctantly, in Scotland in late March 1942, Cate came screaming into
the world after more than 20 hours of labor. Her mother, a notoriously fragile
woman, never recovered. Three weeks later, she died.
Cate enjoyed a privileged childhood. She was a bright, imaginative child,
well educated, and popular with other children. As she got older, her father
taught her horseback riding and hunting. However, Cate's father had relied
heavily upon his wife to keep him sober and frugal. In her absence, he gradually
whittled away his health and his inheritance. By the time Cate was 14, the
family was destitute.
One May evening in 1956, Cate's father put a pistol to his head and pulled
the trigger. Cate went from an orphanage to various foster homes, but she never
lasted anywhere for long. She had become an unruly, angry young woman and took
to thieving, partially to provide for herself and partially because she found
it rewarding. It wasn't long before she realized that she was exceptionally
good at it.
In the space of several years, she went from a scrawny, impoverished waif
to a successful, prosperous young felon. Although she made a point never to
steal from people of modest means, she did not pretend that her activities
were without consequence. Still, the thrill and satisfaction, not to mention
monetary recompense that she earned from her adventures was all the rationale
she needed to continue her budding career in thievery.
In 1958, however, her life changed again when she attempted to pilfer a stranger's
wallet. This stranger, Bruno Lawrie, caught her and reprimanded her, but she
still managed to escape with his watch.
What she didn't know was that he was an agent working for UNITY, an international
agency charged with combating terrorism around the globe, and that his watch
had a built in tracking device. When she got home, he was waiting for her.
Admiring her talent and fearlessness, he decided to give her a future. Now,
nine years later, she is a covert operative for UNITY.