I don't believe Geordi becomes first officer. A first officer must stay on the bridge. If Geordi is promoted, who will be responsible for engineering? Nor do I see Data as first officer. He is condemned to be second officer until the big crunch.
Taurik, of course, would become the next chief engineer. He is a long-standing secondary character and already has a potential love-interest, i.e. social character building.
Data would either be promoted for his heroic sacrifice in '79, decades of duty as Lt. Commander, or by simply taking a single test
that earned Troi promotion.
A few answers
A few questions about content
Doctor Harstad - What book was she introduced in?
Known close parallel universe - What book can I find out more about this universe?
Fellowship of Artificial Intelligence - I assume these are the people that tried to recruit Noonian in Book One. Have they been mentioned in prior books?
IIRC, Doctor Tamala Harstad was introduced as chick for Geordi in Destiny: Gods of Night
. No wait, back then he flirted with Mikaela Leishman from the Aventine
... Maybe it was A Singular Destiny
. Sorry, I'm confused.
Hey, avid TrekLit readers, why hasn't anyone of you written a Memory Beta article about Harstad yet?
The known parallel universe is... the Mirror Universe
. The latest book in the MU series, Rise Like Lions
, features jaunt drive starships extensively.
The Fellowship of Artificial Intelligences was first hinted at in Immortal Coil
and appeared first in The Persistence of Memory.