The basic story is a wet wire VR simulation that ended up with some people getting killed because of the wet wire interface. The protagonist suffered from hallucinations and spent some time in a mental hospital and of course the project was abandoned.
Protagonist gets better. Goes on with his life. Years later he runs into a colleague from the project. Surprise! you are still in the simulation.
Bad guys want the technology but they don't know the physical location of the project but they can jack into the simulation and do bad guy stuff.