"Goros IV," the Doctor announced, pulling a lever with a flourish. The sound of the TARDIS landing faded away.
While the TARDIS had been in flight, John walked around the console room, examining everything. Now he turned to face the Doctor. "Where are we really?"
The Doctor looked hurt. "Goros IV. I have learnt to steer the TARDIS in the last eight hundred years or so since I last saw your parents."
John frowned. "How old are you?"
But the Doctor wasn't listening. He'd turned the scanner on and gestured towards the screen. "What did I tell you? Goros IV."
John peered over the Doctor's shoulder. It looked like it could be Earth, except for the shapeless green blobs massed around the TARDIS. They were bigger versions of the one the Doctor had rescued from the arena John's band had held a concert in. Given that the Doctor had called it a kitten, John assumed the blobs outside were the adults. "Er, Doctor. Were they expecting us?"
"Oh, no," the Doctor said airily, "I expect--" And then his face fell as he took in the scene on the scanner. "I'm sure it's fine." He gave John a quick smile, but it didn't make John feel any better.
The Doctor picked up the still-sedated alien kitten and pulled a lever to open the doors. "Stay in here, I won't be long." He didn't wait to see if John followed his instructions. Which was just as well because John had no intention of doing so. The Doctor had promised him a trip to Goros IV and he was going to get it, regardless of what dangers there were outside. After all, his parents had always escaped, no matter how impossible it had looked.
He just waited until the Doctor was outside, and then John followed him.
Outside he found the kitten awake and wriggling on the ground beside a larger green blob that John took to be its mother. These creatures really had no distinguishing features at all.
"It's all a misunderstanding," the Doctor said, his hands in the air. "I didn't kidnap her. I expect she just wanted to see the universe. Got a little lost."
It was hard to tell how shapeless green blobs were reacting to this, but since they didn't move, John assumed it meant they didn't believe the Doctor.
"He just wanted to help." John took a step forward to stand beside the Doctor. "He found your... kitten and brought her home. She looks fine." He gestured at her, although he had no way of knowing what the wriggling she was doing meant.
The Doctor looked over his shoulder and sighed. "Of course you of all people wouldn't stay put."
John chose to ignore that comment.
"There are tales of your kind." John couldn't tell which alien had spoken, but the voice seemed to echo around them. "Tales of stealing, of kidnapping, of running and of excuses. No more."
John took a step closer to the Doctor to whisper, "Can they actually hurt us?"
"They can bite your leg off," the Doctor whispered back.
John took a look behind him. Since he and the Doctor had both only taken a couple of steps outside the TARDIS, there were no aliens between them and it. Whether they could get back there before they were bitten was another question.
"Maybe we should just leave," John suggested. "We've done what we came here to do." Much as John would have liked to explore, there would be other planets. Assuming the Doctor didn't try and take him back home. Although even that assumed that he really could steer the TARDIS.
"I think that might be a good idea." The Doctor took a step backwards and then the air was filled with "Attack!"
"Run!" Both John and the Doctor turned and ran back into the TARDIS, slamming the doors behind them. The Doctor ran to the console, John following at a slower pace.
"The TARDIS is nearly indestructible," the Doctor said. "But these people might just be able to chew pieces out of her." He ran around the console hitting buttons and flicking switches. "Hold on!" He pulled a lever and John felt the floor go out from under him. He grabbed a strut, which shuddered beneath his grip.
John felt himself being pulled towards the wall, then a moment later everything stilled and he nearly fell to the floor. The trip to Goros IV had been much more stable. Presumably the TARDIS didn't react well to leaving in a hurry. Which was odd, considering how often it needed to do that.
While he got his feet out from under him and stood up he asked, "Where are we? Are we safe?"
"I don't know." The Doctor hadn't looked like he had been affected by the TARDIS's flight, aside from holding on to the edge of the console. "And probably." He went around to take hold of a spew of ticker tape. "Could be Earth." John went to see what he was looking at, but the contents weren't in a language he recognised. "She does like it there."
"I thought you could steer," John pointed out.
"No time to set a course." The Doctor put down the ticker tape and grinned. "Want to see what's out there?"
Of course John did.