The first Terran to make contact and awaken Aldnoah was Dr. Rayregalia Vers Rayvers. It recognized him as the rightful heir and burned the Aldnoah activation factor into his genes. The activation factor is inherited by his descendants. The Martian Knights, who swear fealty to the Royal Family, are bestowed Aldnoah and the activation factor. Due in part to this, the people of VERS are oppressed under a monarchy centered around Aldnoah. (AZ: "Steel Step Suite") . It has been shown that the activation factor for Aldnoah, can be acquired by transfer of bodily fluids of a member of the Royal Family of the Vers Empire such as spit or blood. Two examples of this method of acquisition would be Slaine Troyard and Inaho Kaizuka. (AZ: "Phantom of the Emperor", "This Side of Paradise")
The Aldnoah Drive has the appearance of a glass-like spherical ball with a diameter of approximately thirty centimeters. Upon activation, the Aldnoah Drive glows with a gold aura.
The astronauts of Apollo 17 discovered an ancient technology on the moon, called the Hyper Gate, which allowed for humanity to colonize Mars. The ownership of the Hyper Gate, however, ended up in the hands of the newly created Vers Empire after its formation on Mars.
During the First Earth-Mars War as a result of fierce back and forth fighting on the Moon's surface, the Hyper Gate went out of control, and a part of the moon was destroyed. The destroyed parts of the Moon were pulverized into countless boulders and now continue in their orbit making up the Satellite Belt. Heavens Fall came about because of this conflict, which dramatically changed the face of the Earth.
Upon activation, an Aldnoah Drive will continue running regardless of the activators location, but only if the individual with the activation factor either loses consciousness, dies, or if a descendant of the VERS Royal Family intervenes, will the Aldnoah Drive shutdown.
Without the activation factor, it is impossible to activate the Aldnoah Drive, which for instance was the reason why the Deucalion was abandoned after it was completed.
There are several different ways to stop an Aldnoah Drive's activity:
- Damaging/Destroying it
- The user Deactivates it
- Someone of Royal Blood (such as Princess Asseylum) forcibly shuts it down
- The heart of the person who activated it stops (if the person gets revived with CPR he/she needs to reactivate the Aldnoah Drive)
In order to activate an Aldnoah Drive, one needs an "activated" activation factor. First the person receives the factor through mouth-to-mouth contact from someone with royal blood. There is no need for any special ceremonies/methods, any mouth to mouth contact will transfer the factor (including CPR). When that is done the activation factor is in a "dormant" state and gets "activated" through contact with royal blood. However, as long as the Aldnoah Drive is powered up, anyone can utilize it, regardless whether they have an Aldnoah Activation Factor as shown with the Vers Stygis Fighters which are not piloted by orbital knights but regular pilots.
Although the activation factor is a genetic one, it does not seem to be possible to activate an Aldnoah Drive using just a blood sample. This was discovered when UE forces attempted to activate the Aldnoah Drives they recovered from the defeated orbital knights with blood samples taken from Princess Asseylum.
The audience chamber enables holographic communication, it is mainly used by Orbital Knights to talk to Emperor Rayregalia Vers Rayvers. It works by projecting a holographic version of the user on Mars which enables said user to communicate face to face with the emperor without the restrictions of being separated by a screen, hence the name "Audience Chamber".
In order to use it, certain preparations are needed such as contacting the moon base which relays the conversation to Mars with means of FTL (Faster Than Light) communication, bypassing the time one would normally need to wait until a signal reaches Mars and comes back.
As long as the connection is established, anyone can use the audience chamber to talk to the emperor, even if the said person does not possess the activation factor for Aldnoah or even the permission to be in the Audience chamber in the first place.