It’s the 2040s, and Hero Team is an elite international force that was formed to react to extreme threats anywhere in the world. They don’t have superpowers, but they do have technology that is sufficiently advanced as to sometimes be indistinguishable from magic.

These days, the main threat in the world is IN Equity Inc. (now commonly referred to as IEI). This group of bad guys and gals started as a venture capital firm investing in exotic technology like human genome editing and hyperintelligence augmentation. In 2037 when the umpteenth ethics investigation against them was announced, they finally went full supervillain and declared their remote offshore research base to be a sovereign “corporate state” under the ~benevolent~ leadership of the Board of Directors.

As their confidence has grown, IEI now spends their time planning audacious operations like stealing a nuclear reactor or attempting to execute a hostile takeover of a small nation. And Hero Team is there to fight them every step of the way.

Now, both sides would deny it until their dying breaths, but it’s something of an open secret that the conflict between Hero Team and IN Equity Inc. has evolved into a symbiotic and mutually sustaining relationship. Observers sometimes note that it almost looks like the two teams are fighting for the sport of it. The more outlandish IEI schemes can seem designed to provoke a Hero Team response, and Hero Team’s squads never seem shy of a battle.

The funders of Hero Team tolerate the situation largely because the group’s extensive R&D activities frequently lead to significant advancements in civilian technology. As an example, Hero Team developed the Battlefield Emergency Recovery Transporter (BERT) that removes severely injured soldiers from the fight and allows them to be rapidly patched up and get back into the action. It has already revolutionized civilian ambulance services throughout the world. For their part, IEI manages to eke out enough wins to sustain their own activities and keep their dreams of world domination alive.