Re: Can Data only receive order from Riker (& up) ?
^ Technically, yes. The ship's counselor needed to be available for the captain to consult, and to observe things like first contact situations. Guess it makes sense that she'd be on the bridge.
And "Disaster" establishes that Troi had authority in the chain of command.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.