It is, like the very first badly-drawn page says, the "latter half of the twentieth century". Cloning, genetic enhancement and artificial intelligence are commonplace. There have been many technological and medical breakthroughs; man has decided to attempt to perfect his own world, so pretty much anything is possible. It's a futuristic setting, but I didn't want it to seem too alien by changing the culture too much. People are very much the same as always, though AI could replace them at any time, and death has pretty much been cheated- if you have the money, that is. Pollution rates are declining, and things are looking good for the human race.
What the average person doesn't know is that above the crime, above the econonmic giants of the day, above even the governments, there is an organization that exists to hinder or help in whatever area it is paid to. Once funded, their specially trained agents go to any lengths to carry out what they have been assigned to do. They ask no questions and expect no answers. Their lives are totally and completely in service to the organization, and their society consists of one another. They are separate from the populous because they are aware of how things are really run. They cannot relate with the average person. This is the Org. A rumor. A myth.
The Org takes no sides but that of the highest bidder; has no allies, only funders. It is the real power of North America, and quickly extending it's reach into the rest of the world. One day it could be your best friend, and the next, your worst enemy. No one has the power to stop it, because the Org has the power of money, the power of secrecy.
Its agents move around constantly, and are everywhere. They take on the appearances of normal people, with headquarters daringly in the open, but always moving. With an underground mainframe, they can switch to a new location overnight, and you'll have no idea where that myterious "insurance firm", "private club", or "telephone directory center" went. There is a branch in nearly every major city; a few in each province and state, but they manage to have their fingers in everything. At the top of the hierarchy in a typical Org branch building are the dispatchers. Each dispatcher has control over an average of two to fifteen teams. Sometimes there is a head supervising dispatcher, but it is very unusual. Each team consists of at least two people, most likely two action agents. The average team is three to four people, which usually includes more strategic and technical agents who stay behind the scenes, but they have sometimes been known to be six or seven strong.
Teams are usually kept together for years, sometimes for as long as they are employed in the Org. Being able to anticipate mere body language or tone of voice has it's defininite advantages. The rate of synchronization in strengths and weaknesses can make or break a team. Many times, dispatchers and branches develop "favorites", the top agents who are always successful with minimum complications. These get the most assignments, and therefore the fattest paychecks. It is interesting though, that dispatchers never seem to act out of their own initiative. It is either a mission handed them by a funding patron, a wealthy first-time client, or some other elusive "higher power". Nobody ever speaks of a big kahuna or head honcho; indeed the organization has become so large it is hard to fathom one man or woman influencing it all.