Bitek

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For the Ugandan poet, see Okot p'Bitek

Bitek is a fictional substance mentioned numerous times in the Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton. Bitek is in essence a supremely advanced Edenist biotechnology which can grow and change shape. Bitek is technically living material, however it is genetically engineered to act similarly to a computer, often "programmed" via affinity (telepathy).

Edenists use bitek for almost everything. For example, a bitek spider can be used to spy on others covertly, since it can have sensors and a broadcaster. Voidhawks (Edenist spaceships) and habitats are almost entirely made of Bitek which are grown from eggs and or seeds respectively, which are later adapted through various means to fill specific roles if need be.

Bitek habitats are essentially gigantic living biospheres; the Bitek habitats like the Voidhawks are sentient in and off themselves and are controlled through affinity which allows them to readily adapt and to grow functions to suit the needs of their inhabitants. Bitek habitats usually orbit gas giants (for the Helium-3 they contain) and some, e.g. Tranquillity, have the ability to "jump" away from a battle. This is achieved via specialist organs known as "patterning nodes" which open controlled wormholes.