Cate Archer was born in Scotland in late March 1942 to a privileged family. Her mother died soon after she was born and her father committed suicide in 1956. Prior to joining UNITY, Archer pursued a career as a professional thief, on the one hand to provide for herself and on the other because she found it gratifying. She was discovered by agent Bruno Lawrie when Archer stole his watch that had an in-built tracking device. By the time she arrived at her flat, Lawrie was waiting there. Admiring her talent and bravery, he decided to give her a future as an operative for UNITY - an international agency charged with combating terrorism around the globe.