What if, 65 million years ago, just before the asteroid hit the Yucatan and spread a layer of iridium across the world, the impact of which vaporized a goodly chunk of the planet, thrown particulate of which into the atmosphere, causing climate change and the death of most of the planet's flora and fauna, these intelligent beings escaped to another world or worlds?
What if these beings, resembling a cross between a veliciraptor and a bird, came back and tried to help humanity?
What if, also, that humanity was a hybrid race created by stranded aliens who wanted to mine the planet for gold and ended up in a conflict with the "Returned" species? Wouldn't that be thought provoking?
Some birds are pretty smart. Who knows, maybe some of them a lot smarter than humans? Hell, I know some chickens who are a lot smarter than some humans occupying positions of power. Anyways, just some bird food for thought.