Henrietta Hardin and James Knight are agents of the CIA.
Of the pair, only one could really be considered an operative, that being Knight. The other, Hardin, is an agent in name only.
Hardin came to work for the Company straight out of university. She was first looked at when she was one of many given a test by the Special Affairs Section to see who could come closest to actually breaking an unbreakable code. She broke it.
The Agency was stunned when someone actually broke that code but she was even more surpised as she had always been terribly dyslexic and reading anything was a challenge. Still, she was the first and only one to crack the code so she was offered a job. That offer was soon being reconsidered when her dyslexia started causing problems like not being able to find her way around the offices. Also troubling was the newly discovered prescription drugs she was taking to handle the stress she was constantly feeling.
She was on her way out the door permanently when she appealed to her uncle, who happened to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. It was made clear to the powers-that-be at the CIA that if they wanted a budget higher than $20, his niece would have a job with them for at least 20 years. Uncle Speaker very much loved his niece, despite believing that she truly was more than a little bonkers.
Hardin is nervous about everything. That is why she needs the meds so badly. Taking them makes her sad at times, though, which is why she drinks - a lot. For reasons they never quite mentioned, those same Powers that kept her employed also decided being out in the field was better than in the office, which is how she became an active agent.
Knight was a totally different animal. He was a real agent having worked all over the world and done lots of things no one talked about anymore, all under orders and all for the "good cause". Still, leaderships change and Administrations come and go and bring and take with them orders and directives that subsequent Leaders might not approve of, leaving the folks in charge often employing people they would prefer not to acknowledge.
Such was the case at the time of this series' start. Knight was one of those who knew too much, were too darn dangerous to try and kill, and who refused to get themselves dispatched by the enemy. And Knight knew too much to push out the door since the news media was so close and angry people with their facts straight are a dangerous proposition. It was deemed far better that Knight be kept busy doing things no one cared about and no one questioned.
Knight and Hardin do not know each other at the beginning of the series. They had just met when the trouble started. Trouble does have a way of getting people acquainted quite quickly which is what happens here. The two will not be the same afterwards.