The research is rapidly discovered by the AIs that monitor the game and shut down, forcefully, by the company that runs Light Online. But the code that runs those pods has been altered, and until it's fixed Eddie and the others can't log out. Although the devs assure him that it won't take long to fix, Eddie's not so sure of that himself.
Eddie entered the game to make money in real life, and as he tries to do that he finds himself getting entangled deeper and deeper in the game and with the people he meets there. But when he discovers a side of the game that the previous players had apparently never even considered, he knows he has to find a way to stay in the game.
This story is approximately 120,000 words long and DRM free.