The little calculating lizard would have run his hands through his hair except that, being both a lizard and a metaphor, he didn't actually have any. He had run script after script, tried variable after variable, and absolutely nothing was working. He'd tried being patient but variable sheet 1-A-C showed that time was running out. Soon that source would be gone for good and, with it, his chance.
But what could he do? There was a mismatch in table G. Without a proper match in table G, it was all an exercise in futility. It was a fun exercise, and one he certainly hadn't minded in the past, but it wasn't getting him any nearer his goal.
He'd been staring at the screen and the available variable sheets until his vision blurred. His eyes felt like coals. He'd been so excited when the new sheets had arrived along with the new OS. He'd been sure that this time he would find the variable he needed.
There HAD to be something. He knew it deep in his coding. It was there if only he had the eyes to see it.
New OS. The new OS package had come with more than just new variable sheets, hadn't it? There were new apps too and the instructions for accessing the extra power needed for running them.
He pulled up the new apps menu and flipped through the icons. Something... something... there had to be something... Oh! This one... usually it was used to alter table P and its attendant subroutines but what if...? A quick flip through the “extended options” menu confirmed that it would just as easily alter table G. He pulled up the variable table 1-A-S and opened a copy in sandbox mode, where he could see how the alteration would compile before actually changing the code.
It worked. It worked BEAUTIFULLY. He felt electrified with excitement. It was here, finally! His chance! Feverishly his digits flew, closing sandbox mode and opening the base code in the new app. He ran it almost without thinking, though at the last minute he prudently set a system restore point. The app was almost childishly simple to run so reversing it should be easy enough, if he wanted, but he didn't want to be stuck if something went wrong.
Crossing his imaginary digits, the lizard tapped “run.”
Cutter was brought up short by the new scent as he entered the room. “Who are you?” he blurted in surprise at the form laying snuggled in the perserver-silk blankets. The other elf sat up and opened eyes that Cutter KNEW. Of course he knew. He'd always known, hadn't he...? Thinking would come later but Now was not the time as Cutter reacted instinctively to the call of Recognition.
Skywise stretched luxuriously, thoroughly enjoying the play of muscles and skin. “I had the most wild dream,” he began. The laugh in his throat was cut off as he registered exactly what his body was reporting. Disbelieving, he stared down at his body. His jaw dropped open and he moved questioning eyes to Cutter, who started back in equal consternation. “...not a dream...?” he squeaked.
Cutter shook his head and Sent for Leetah.
The healer was just as surprised but her magic quickly assured her that all was well. Strange, but well. “Congratulations,” she said to Skywise.
“Look, I know I've said I prefer what maidens have,” Skywise protested, “but this is a little more than I meant!” He gestured down his – her? – nude and fetchingly female form. “I don't even know how I did it! Can you and the others help me change back?”
“Of course,” she reassured him. “In due time.”
“In due time...?” he echoed, confused. Then it sank in. “You mean...?”
Leetah nodded. “Yes, Skywise. You're going to be a mother.”
There's no satisfaction like a job well done, mused Skywise's calculating lizard. It shut down the program and locked the drawer with the variable sheets. Now it's time for that long-delayed vacation!