Among the many anecdotes Trade Master Greenish of the Melnorme relates to the Human Captain during their association is the story of the Algolites, the native inhabitants of the planet Algol IV. It is not clear whether the term "Algolites" refers to an actual sentient species or is simply a term for the entire population of non-sentient species on Algol IV.
When an initial misunderstanding between the New Alliance Humans and the Melnorme leads to brief hostilities, the Melnorme rescind their initial offer to open peaceful information-trading relations with the Humans. In The Captain's original talks with Greenish attempting to restore relations with the Melnorme, Greenish brushes aside The Captain's assertion that the Humans' attack had been a simple mistake with an anecdote illustrating the uselessness of claims of non-intentionality as atonement, comparing the Humans to their cowardly Spathi enemies.
Greenish relates how the Spathi established a base on Algol IV. Finding the climate unsuited to their needs, the Spathi thoughtlessly set up terraforming equipment to (they thought) slightly, harmlessly alter the planet's atmosphere. Unfortunately, their equipment malfunctioned and set off a catastrophic chain reaction; in typical Spathi fashion, the colonists fled rather than attempting to correct their mistake, and the resulting disaster ended up stripping off most of Algol IV's atmosphere and wiping out the Algolites.