The one option wee need to consider: Scotty was on a beer and pizza run.
Captain Nebula wrote:
But why is Scotty there waiting for him?
Does the TMP novelization expand on what Scotty was doing there?
According to the book, Scotty was surprised to see Kirk and surprised that Kirk orders him to take him in the travel pod over to the Enterprise. Scotty must have been to the Centroplex (which is what it's called in the book) on some official business. But it doesn't say.
That's where that's word [centroplex] is from. Been rattling in my head for days after I read something about the ISS serving as a launch hub and couldn't figure out why.