It wasn’t long ago that our own Curt Adrano flayed Sarra Somers and the Yokai alliance for newbro exploitation. Yokai’s misdeeds sent shockwaves through the EVE community and sparked a multilateral armed response. Mass newbro entrapment is one of the few issues that unites the community. So when the S.E.C.T.I.O.N. 8 alliance out of Querious got accused of Yokai-style exploitation, the court of public opinion started winding up for another collective roast. A very few voices – including at least one former Yokai victim – pointed out a need for actual evidence, but by then the accusations had picked up momentum.

I got curious. I’m all for smacking down the Yokais of the world, but I like to make decisions based on something more solid than emotion. So I reached out and connected with a longtime S.E.C.T.I.O.N. 8 member, a space-poor like myself, and asked him about the allegations.

The rumormongers had painted S.E.C.T.I.O.N. 8 as exploiting newbros by appropriating major loot, restricting transport and sale rights to alliance leaders at a huge markup, and charging 300% markups on weak doctrine ships. My anonymous contact denied all of that, which I expected. What I didn’t expect was what came next.

Over the course of several hours, my contact bombarded me with details and connections. Eventually he linked me with Sunna Regina, a leading CEO within S.E.C.T.I.O.N. 8. Between Sunna and my contact, I got access to internal financials, doctrine fittings, alliance communications across several platforms, and enough material to make their side of things more than credible. The financials didn’t match a pattern of exploitation, the doctrines didn’t line up with any of the details the accusers had provided, and the alliance proved to have a strong culture of generosity toward newbros. It became clear that S.E.C.T.I.O.N. 8 had been dubbed the second coming of Yokai by someone with an axe to grind.

The obvious questions were who and why – and neither my contact nor Sunna knew the answer. “We all come from places where we were ripped off and pride ourselves on not being one of those alliances,” my contact said. Separately, Sunna had the same frustrations: “I do not know why or even who is behind it.” The best explanation anyone could offer was that they’d recently burned and expelled a couple of spies, allegiance unknown.

If you’re looking for evidence of balance, I can’t offer much. Far as I can tell, this is nothing but a smear job trading on public indignation. When the Yokai story broke, detailed firsthand accounts came out of the woodwork. This time, there’s one secondhand, uncorroborated accusation against a pretty solid case for S.E.C.T.I.O.N. 8’s innocence. What I saw in their comms and financial accounts was an earnest midlevel alliance with strengths and struggles and not a lot to hide. I sure didn’t find a monolithic scam preying on helpless newbros en masse. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed: I was looking forward to a Yokai hunt. But I’m sure a deserving target will come around sooner or later – just not today.

Jenne Exupery

Jenne Exupery is a low-wattage independent who dabbles in shipping, salvage, trade, exploration, and nearly victimless heists. He can usually be found bumming around Derelik and Domain under one name or another. Preferred contact method: in-game mail to Jenne Exupery of Manticore-Horizon Shipping [MANHO].

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