According to the updated rulebook, if there are any *TIES* on the initiative meter that involve any gearloc, the party chooses the order.
I could not find anything that says you can alter the order on your own. Regardless of where the baddies are.
So to answer your question, I would say No. But I have been wrong before.
Baddie ties are broken by lane assignment. If lane 1 and lane 4 both have a *3*, lane 1 will be above lane 4.
Correct, if it's not a tie, then the order must stay as is, even if there's no Baddies between them.