(last updated: 12/28/17)
NESTS is a rather secretive organization. Like a few others, NESTS is a means towards world domination. Unlike their competition, NESTS has very few ties to the criminal underworld and the black market. Most of their funding comes from the talented scientists and researchers employed by them, as well as prize money from tournaments that their fighters are sent to compete in. All of this makes them less known by the world at large than even "R" and Shadaloo. Secrecy comes at a price: NESTS has the smallest standing army of all major criminal factions, though most of their field agents have been augmented in some way to help make up for this.
The NESTS Cartel is a technology "think tank" that employs many of the world's most brilliant minds in genetics and cybernetics, luring them in with promises of helping humanity or loosened ethical restraints in return for abandoning their former lives forever. The organization's secrecy is preserved by a worldwide espionage network, and when passive manipulation of governments and businesses aren't enough...the exceptionally talented agents of its private security branch are deployed.
The reality of what the NESTS Cartel deals in is much darker. Not above kidnapping, cloning and human experimentation, the organization's most elite operatives are the only test subjects among dozens who both survived an augmentation process and produced satisfactory results. This information is zealously kept from the agents (Kula, Nameless) and the researchers whose work was used to create them. Exceptions exist, but those who know either keep quiet to avoid termination (K9999), or are apathetic toward the matter in general (Angel).
Despite their inhumane methods and sinister goals, the NESTS Cartel lacks the numbers that the other criminal factions possess, which forces them to play smarter in order to compete with them. This often means playing their competitors against each other, sabotaging their resources, or very rarely aiding would-be "heroes" in their own efforts to hinder these organizations. To most outsiders, the designs of the cartel often seem whimsical at best, providing very little insight into their long term goals and intents. It hasn't stopped the agents of NESTS from occasionally getting into fights with enemies that they've made during missions, and as long as it isn't a deliberate act against the cartel's interests, rarely provokes a reprimand from upper management.
Loyalty to the organization is rewarded with increased freedoms. Agents and particularly reliable science staff are allowed a measure of leniency to travel, though their activities and locations are closely monitored. Non-agents are required to receive mandatory instruction in fencing for self-defense purposes before they are allowed to leave their research facility. None of these people know where, exactly, the main base of NESTS is located...only the location of worldwide drop sites that provide windowless transportation back and forth.
Knowledge of the organization's command structure is disseminated on a need to know basis, with the agents usually having a much better understanding of the full picture than most non-combat personnel. Krizalid is in charge of most field operations, issuing orders to agents and occasionally leading the ground teams in larger missions. Most project leads report to Zero in some shape or form, though he is called upon occasionally to deal with higher level threats and has been known to operate on his own initiative. Both report to Igniz, who in turn directly oversees the organization's most secretive operations. Foxy and Diana are among the ranking researchers who have had an opportunity to work alongside him personally.
For all intents and purposes, Igniz appears to be the "voice" of NESTS and provides direction for the organization. Only Igniz, Zero, and Krizalid are aware of the true power behind NESTS, whose only contact with them is through his secretary, Misty. Unknown to Zero and Krizalid, Igniz and Misty have already assassinated this man and taken over the entire organization. This has allowed Igniz to begin turning the resources of the organization toward his own personal designs for godhood...a fact which has not gone unnoticed by Zero, and has increased tensions between the two as of late. Despite this manipulation, Igniz remains a frighteningly powerful and intelligent leader who obtains results for the organization, and his command is unlikely to be challenged for the time being.