She wakes up to someone looming over her, looking at her with concerned eyes. Her vision clears and she sees a guy in a suit, looking down at her worriedly.
"Are you alright?"
“I’m sorry, I seem to have blacked out,” she says, but it comes out weird, like it’s not her voice at all. She's bracketed in a chair, a crossbar keeping her in. The man in the suit helps her get out of the chair, and she's surprised to find a weird buzzing sound reverberating in her head. She pinches the bridge of her nose to try to relieve her head from the oncoming headache she feels trying to worm into her mind.
She tries to wave off the concern from the man when he tries to lead her to another plastic chair on the other side of the room. She realizes that she’s not in her office at the Strategic Scientific Reserve, and is absolutely frozen for a moment before she decides, right, well, must get on with solving the mystery and all that.
“Um…could you tell me—” She breaks off because her voice still hasn’t come back, still sounds so much younger. She tries coughing and taking a deep breath because this is no time to panic; she must’ve hit her head on something—she just needs to gather herself and figure out what happened. It wouldn’t do anyone any good to freak out, no matter how much she wants to freak out right about now. “Could you tell me where we are now?”
The man in the suit flinches, catching her attention.
“Skye?” He sounds unsure, looking even more concerned now than he did when she woke up.
“Um,” she tries racking her brain for the right answer, but she has no idea what he’s talking about. “Are you asking me about the sky?”
He physically recoils from her. Right. That’s not the answer he’s looking for.
“Did you hit your head?”
Her first instinct is to answer in the affirmative because that seems to be the simplest explanation. She doesn't know what else could happened that'd explain why she can’t remember how she got from her desk to…well, wherever she is right now, which reminds her that the man hasn't answered her question; she doesn't think he will anytime soon. He seems much more intent on questioning her.
“I don’t remember,” she settles on.
“Stay right here,” he orders, which seems a silly thing to say as far as she’s concerned. Where does he assume she’ll go? The room, now that her head is somewhat clear—though she has her doubts about that, the low-buzzing sound hasn’t gone away, nor has her confusion—seems to be barricaded on all sides, bearing concrete walls and floors. If she didn’t know any better, she’d think they were in some underground bunker. But that still begs the question: how did she get here? The last thing she remembers is waiting for the ping and she was pretty sure she was nowhere around a bunker then. But before she can articulate any of her confusion, the man is out of the room, leaving her still sitting in the chair and looking at a lone desk with a strange device in the center of it. She catches sight of the wall behind the desk, bearing a strange black symbol. It seems familiar, but she can't remember where she has seen it before. The man doesn't seem to be any agent she's familiar with.
She doesn’t think he’s Zodiac or Hydra, but…the frightening thing is she doesn’t know who he is.
She finds herself inching towards the door, and now the order to remain in the room doesn’t sound as silly. She opens it, expecting to find it locked but whoever this man thinks she is, he trusts her, implicitly.
It’s also then that she feels weird, and not just in her head either. She looks down and is shocked to find she’s not wearing her black heels. Huh. That’s probably why she feels an inch shorter.
She decides this is as good a time as any to explore.
A short trip down a nondescript, empty corridor, she feels smug about wherever she was being an underground bunker—or at least a secret base—because she doesn’t run into anybody and she can’t seem to find a way out. It might as well be a ghost town for all that she finds. She slips past another door and finds herself in an elaborate bathroom.
And stops. Because the image reflected back isn’t her. It’s a younger woman with long, dark brown hair. She’s definitely shorter; she didn’t imagine that. And she didn’t imagine that her voice was coming out all wrong either or that she was wearing strange clothes.
What the hell?
She runs out of the bathroom, not intent on trying to escape wherever she is anymore because she has bigger problems than a possible abduction. She can deal with abductions; abductions are normal and escapable, but this is so far from the realm of both.
She retraces her steps, going back to the room she found herself waking up in and sneaks back in. There are no traces of the man having come back and left, at least not any visible ones she can find. She doesn’t even know if he will come back.
What she needs to do is figure out if she's still in 1946...or not. She tries looking for a daily planner or a datebook, but there's nothing on the desk except what appears to be a flat machine with numbers on the panel, and that strange device that's black and looks like a briefcase, but small. She thinks what she sees is a telephone but there's no handset. Even if she is right, and it is a telephone, there really wouldn't be anyone she could call. Agent Flynn? But she'd rather resign herself to a lifetime in a foreign place than ask him for anything.
Peggy doesn’t rule out a concussion or delusions just yet, but time travel seems to be the simplest explanation at the moment, although there is hardly anything simple about traveling in time. She did remember reading something about how some scientists theorized that when the Big Bang happened there were more than four dimensions created, but that we only know about the three spatial dimensions and the temporal one. Yet of those nine dimensions created by the Big Bang, there could be more than one temporal dimension besides time. The theory is that this other temporal dimension could involve time being able to stretch back and forth—effortlessly and endlessly so that there weren’t restrictions, that time wasn’t merely a linear event that you couldn't move in either direction. She doesn’t know if that’s what happened to her—or why she found herself inhabiting a different body—but it’s the only explanation she has at the moment.
Meanwhile, sixty-some years in the past and in a very different place—Skye blinks to find herself definitely not at the Playground, where SHIELD's agents, those that are still left, have set base to start rebuilding from Hydra's infiltration. Nor is she at the Bus, having been newly repaired and fixed up after Ward and Garrett had unfortunately hijacked it for their own nefarious reasons.
Interestingly, she does know how she got here. It had taken a little bit of finagling and twisting Billy's arm to hide her time machine in a secret room even Coulson doesn't know about and to not tell on her. Billy had been hard-pressed to help her travel back in time, but a little good, ol' blackmail had shut him up. Skye didn't want to hack into his personal computer to gather dirt on him, but desperate times and all that.
Of course, she isn't looking to change the future—well, not by much, she's not looking to make sure she's never born, that's for certain. She's purely on a fact-finding mission. And the fact that she stumbled upon a time machine purely by accident in Ian Quinn's basement the first time she met him...well, that would be what the universe calls a coincidence.
She's not going to change anything. She wouldn't be able to, even if she was intent on that course of action. Not when she finds a compact in the desk drawer and an older woman looking back at her.
All she has to do now is blend in, and learn everything she can. About Hydra, SHIELD, whatever information she can gather...
1946 might've been a random year to choose from, but that's when she read the SSR had disbanded and morphed into SHIELD, and it seemed a good year as any to start from.
Phil is going to fucking kill her when he finds out, though.
And probably whoever Ian Quinn stole the time machine from.