“Do you dream, Commander? When you look up at the night sky, and you see the brilliance of the infinite shining back at you? Do you feel the same awe, I wonder, as our first ancestors did; before cities, before towers, before Ghosts and Light and Dark?
Do you feel the same awe as I do?
You call us pessimists. Cowards, even. But I am full of hope. Full of belief. Full of compassion.
And full of certainty as well.
It is not for myself that I would leave the Heliopause behind, for I know that I will never live to see my goal. I do it for the sake of those to come; those who may one day take up our mantle - not as Guardians, not as soldiers - but as humans.
Every one of those stars is as full of promise as we are. Every one, full of potential. Every one, a reminder of the Light that shines in all of us.
I dream of a world without borders. I dream of a world free of darkness, free of decay and despair. I dream that when the stars twinkle, the Fleet twinkles back.
Infinity calls to us, Commander - to all of us. And it is calling us home.”
While working on a thing, I made some translations from English into Spanish. Being that it’s my second language I’m proficient in, I was a bit curious in the translation.
The Awoken, as according to Bungie.net, is translated as “Los Insomnes.”The Dead Ghost Fragments are called, “FRAGMENTO DE ESPECTRO: LOS INSOMNES.”
Why is this interesting? “Los Insomnes” in my English means “The Insomniacs.”
An insomniac is “a person who is regularly unable to sleep.” So, this led to a personal… hmm… thought. A headcanon perhaps? Probably goes against all things Destiny, but meh… I’ll give it a shot.
The Awoken, or in their Spanish term “The Insomniacs,” are unable to sleep. Or rather, if they can sleep, it is very brief. Very little to not at all. The term we give them, Awoken, probably refers to them being “awoken” in the Light, or that they simply have found a greater enlightenment. Something greater than that between the polarized Light and Dark. The Exo Stranger says, “Ah yes. The Awoken. Out there wavering between the light and the dark.”
This we are speaking in English, this “awoken” term seems to be metaphysical to the point where it became physical. The Awoken relied on something besides the Light and were able to evolve into something outside of their original Humanity. Thus, their blue toned skin and whisps of light streaking across their face. But I’m more concerned about their eyes.
If we spoke about their Spanish term, “los insomnes,” then their eyes play a huge role. The Awoken cannot sleep. If they do, then its very little and very very rare. First, look at the bright lights they call eyes. The eyes are one such adaptation they received. The eyes I believe are to help them see in dark areas, much like the eyeshine that animals developed. You know, how cats or dog’s eyes give that interesting glow when they look towards a flashlight, car headlights, or something else? That’s eyeshine. The Awoken have something similar to this.
However, just because a being has eyeshine doesn’t mean that they can’t sleep. Dogs clearly can sleep. But the Awoken, or the Insomniacs, can’t sleep because their eyes are always alert. The Awoken developed after the Collapse. They were humans who adapted to live in dangerous conditions. And if a being had to constantly learn to look around its surroundings to stay alive then it will evolve that way.
Take nature here on earth. Can you think of anything that has adapted itself to stay awake, even partially, so it didn’t die? Dolphins. Dolphins have to be conscious to breath. This means that they cannot go into a full deep sleep, because then they would suffocate. Dolphins have “solved” that by letting one half of their brain sleep at a time.
Awoken had to be awake the entire time, or at least most of the time, while in the vastness of space. They settled in the Reef, or the Asteroid Belt. There is no atmosphere out there. There is no way to tell day from night. It is dark and asteroids are terrifyingly dangerous because of possible collisions. The moment they fall asleep, or close their eyes, they are rising possible death.
So now that they are awake at most hours of the day, they also adapted a particular eyeshine to both protect them from sunglare and to see in the dark better than their human counterparts. However, they also take this with a small price. Their eyes are slightly strained from intense light.
Photophobia – the term used to describe light sensitivity – typically affects people with light eyes because they have less pigmentation in multiple layers of the eye than those with darker eyes. So with the Awokens certainly brilliant and light eyes, they also face some discomfort being out too much. This can be backed up by where the Awoken are typically placed in Destiny. Zavala is indoors with his back to a window, Tyra is inside the Iron Temple, Rahool is outside but wears a hood to cover his eyes, Arach Jalaal is in the Hangar, and then you have the regular Reefborn who are just fine in their dark home.
Conclusion? The Awoken, both Earthborn and Reefborn, have the inability to sleep, or the ability to sleep for short periods of time due to their survival adaptations. Their eyes help them see better at night, thus they are more active in darker areas, making them somewhat nocturnal.