In the followup to the Beast Wars series called Beast Machines, the Maximals return to Cybertron to find a changed world. Missing two of their own (Silverbolt and Rhinox), unable to transform, and having no recollection of what has transpired since the time they left prehistoric Earth, they were caught wholly unprepared for what awaited them. Cybertron was a barren planet, ruled by Megatron, the leader of the rogue Predacons they had fought during the Beast Wars. His ideal of technological purity for Cybertron was enforced at first by legions of mindless Vehicon drones but later by three generals designed to control the drones: Tankor, Jetstorm, and Thrust. To Thrust fell the task of commanding the cycle drones.
Although Thrust shared his name with a Generation 1 Decepticon, the two had virtually nothing in common. Whereas the original Thrust transformed into a crimson and black jet, the new Thrust was a sleek, alien motorcycle. Likewise, the original Thrust was little more than a grunt in the army of the Decepticon Empire while the new Thrust held a position of some importance; after all, he himself represented 25% of all sentient Vehicons (that means there were three others, for those not good with fractions and percents). Without a doubt the coolest of the three generals, Thrust was an enigmatic character. He rarely spoke and when he did, he spoke calmly in a low, whispery voice. He kept mostly to himself, though he had something vaguely resembling a friendship with Jetstorm.
When it was discovered that the general Tankor actually held the spark of the lost Maximal second-in-command Rhinox, the remaining Maximals soon realized it was possible that Jetstorm and Thrust were also former associates of theirs. After Thrust saved Blackarachnia's life on more than one occasion, she began to believe that he was actually Silverbolt, her star-crossed lover from the Beast Wars. To appreciate the significance of this, though, a little background is necessary.
Although she was now a Maximal, Blackarachnia had originally been a Predacon. Surpassed in treachery only by Megatron and her pseudo-father Tarantulas, it seemed as if she was destined for evil. Then the Maximal fuzor Silverbolt appeared (ironically, he too had started out as a Predacon) and the two had something resembling an affair that neither faction approved of. Both Megatron and Optimus Primal saw this as a weakness, but only Megatron exploited it (since he's, you know, evil). After a while, though, Blackarachnia finally did join the Maximals and the two lovers were together in an "authorized" manner. Silverbolt is largely credited with her conversion to the Maximal faction. It is easy to realize, then, why she was so desperate to retrieve Silverbolt's spark from Thrust. Fortunately for us, fate (as well as Bob Skir) was not so easily manipulated.
"Oooh, Wazzzpinator had planzz!"
When Blackarachnia finally tried to force Silverbolt from Thrust, she was shocked to find her old accomplice Waspinator waiting for her. It would be an understatement to say that Waspinator was something of a spazz. As his name might imply, Waspinator transformed into a wasp. He spoke in the third person with a voice resembling that of Slimer's from Ghostbusters and had penchant for being blown up. Waspinator was something of a fan favorite for his goofiness and sometimes inspired bursts of realization that he was being exploited by Megatron. After Megatron was defeated in the Beast Wars, however, Waspinator was left behind on prehistoric Earth to hang out with the corpses of various Predacons and the proto-humans. He revealed to Blackarachnia that he had ruled over them as something of a king, but eventually left (or was forced to leave) to return to Cybertron. After a very, very long time, Waspinator returned to Cybertron and his spark was captured by Megatron. Realizing that he was in need of loyal troops, however, Megatron called on Waspinator to be one of his generals. Since his conversion to Thrust, Waspinator was completely loyal to Megatron. Even after he discovered who he had once been, he continued to serve Megatron and even berated those who turned against him. Once Jetstorm reverted to being Silverbolt, the two had something of a private feud. Thrust saw Silverbolt as a traitor and made it his mission to destroy him.
Unfortunately for us, Thrust and Silverbolt never had their climactic one-man-standing battle. Thrust was dispatched by Cheetor who extracted his spark right before Thrust was about to smoke him like so much rolled tobacco. In the last episode of the series, Thrust was reformatted into a wasp with the head of one of his cycle drones. He reverted to the Waspinator personality for good after that, I guess.
Thrust is notable for a few reasons:
1) He was the only "evil" character to survive both Beast Wars and Beast Machines.
2) He is one of only three characters (evil or otherwise) to survive both series.
3) He was the only Vehicon general to have been created from an "evil" spark.
4) He was the only general to survive both seasons in his Vehicon form.
5) He was really, really cool.
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